Sitting in our Sussex offices in mid February, we have been talking about New Year’s resolutions; who made them, and who stuck to them. In the gyms that we frequent, there was a huge increase in people using the equipment in January - but by the start of February they all seemed to vanish.
One common reason for failing in the keep fit resolution stakes is lack of time. We all have so much work to get through that taking time out to get to the gym, change, workout, and get back from the gym can take up too much of your working day.
So how do we find the work/exercise balance?
We’ve come up with ten workable ideas for exercising at (or just by) your desk.
10 Deskercises - How To Workout At Your Desk
Tippy Tappy: A simple way to keep those legs moving even whilst you’re sat at your desk is by speedily tapping your toes on the floor. This is achievable whilst you’re catching up with emails, or reading your daily updates so make sure you add reminders to get regular tippy tappy toes.
Standing Desks: At 20sixltd we all have desks that we can alter at the touch of a button from sitting to standing. Prolonged periods of sitting are linked to increased risk for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, whereas standing significantly increases your daily caloric expenditure. Alternate between sitting and standing whenever you can.
Legs of Steel: Take a break from your office desk and lean against the nearest solid wall. Stand straight with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 seconds, then stand up again - but do remember to breathe!
Nobody Needs To Know: There are some desk excercises that you can do that nobody else in the office will be aware of. Toning your bottom muscles is as simple as squeezing your buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and then release. Make sure you add as many reps as you feel comfortable with and as above, at regular intervals.
Get Your Prayers Answered: A good exercise for your arms that will leave others in the office wondering what you are praying for. Seated upright with feet flat on the floor, bring your palms together in front of your chest and push both hands together as hard as you can until you feel the arm muscles contract. Hold the prayer hands pushed together for 20 seconds. Release and repeat the sequence until you feel enough of the burn.
The Shoulder Shrug: Best done at your desk and not in board (or is that bored?) meetings, just raise both shoulders up toward your ears, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat for 15 reps.
Hold On Tight: Your head weighs a lot and your poor neck has to carry its weight, so this a great way of strengthening the neck. Hold your head in your hands and press your palms into your forehead as if trying to push the head backward. Resist the motion by engaging the neck muscles. Then clasp your hands behind the back of the head and try to push the head backward, resisting the motion with your hands. Slowly release, rest, and repeat 5 times each.
Office Desk Jiggle: If your Office chair moves let it help your body move too. Sitting upright and with the feet hovering over the floor, hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb. Next, use the core to swivel the chair from side to side. Swish back and forth for 15 rounds.
Nobody Needs Know (Part Two): Another silent deskercise, this one works your core. Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
Roll On Summer: It may seem a long way off but if you’d rather not see your tummy rolls when you look down you need to get working now. Place both of your elbows on your thighs, then try to curl the chest in towards the legs while resisting the movement with the arms. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat times 10.
The more we move, the better we feel - and the better we feel, the more productive we can become. So if you’ve had to give up on your fitness promises because of work commitments, try incorporating these ten deskercises into every working day and feel better for it.
(We should point out that whilst we are experts in Office fit outs we are not experts in fitness itself. These are just ideas for getting you moving at your desk; if in any doubt please seek a real fitness expert’s advice)