14 Easy Ways to Exercise if You Work in an Office

The health problems caused by sitting behind a desk for hours on end are well documented – but did you know that working this way could actually kill you?

Julie Santos · 15th January 2017

A study published in medical journal, the Lancet, has revealed that sitting at a computer for eight hours a day can increase the risk of premature death by 60%. However, the study found that if a person carried out between 60 and 75 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day, this appeared to eliminate the increased risk that was associated with prolonged sitting time.

Fortunately for those with a busy lifestyle, the exercise doesn’t have to be done at the gym. Exercise can be built into your working day, both by taking regular breaks from the screen and through carrying out simple tasks before, during and after work. Here, we look at some easy exercises you can integrate into your daily routine without taking up a lot of your time:

Before Work

1. Morning workout: If you can bring yourself to do a morning workout, there are immense benefits. CEO of PLYOGA Fitness, Stephanie Lauren, explains: “The psychological benefits of morning workouts are paramount. You clear your mind and give yourself positive energy for the entire day. Most Fortune 500 CEOs workout in the morning for this reason.”  This quick 10-minute workout is the perfect way to set you up for the day.

2. Stairs: If you’ve no time for a proper workout in the morning, your stairs are the perfect exercise tool while you’re getting ready. Every time you have to run up or down stairs for something, make an extra couple of trips for a fast, easy way to get your heart pumping.

3. Free weights: If there’s no time for getting sweaty right before work, lifting a few weights is the perfect gentle compromise. Lifting light weights will help you to tone up while burning calories and can also help improve brain function. Spend five to 10 minutes each morning following a variety of these simple exercises, aiming to increase the number of repetitions you do from day to day.

4. Walk or cycle to work: If you don’t live too far from your workplace, try walking or cycling to work on some or all your work days. It’s a great way to wake you up and get you ready for the day ahead – plus you’ll save money on fuel and parking as a bonus.

During Work

5. Use the stairs: It goes without saying that unless you’re on the top floor of a very tall building, you should take the stairs up to your office and back again, instead of the lift. If you’ve got a few minutes free in the day, use the stairs as a quick exercise tool, making a few trips up and down – you can always carry some papers with you to make it look like you’re going somewhere.

6. Move around: One of the simplest ways you can stay active at work is to get up from your desk and move around regularly. Senior Investigator Scientist and lead author of the Lancet study, Professor Ulf Ekelund, suggests you “Take a five-minute break every hour, go to the next office, go upstairs to the coffee machine, go to the printer”. These simple activities all contribute towards your 60 to 75 minutes a day of physical activity.

7. Take a walk: Make sure you leave your desk and take a walk during your lunch break, rather than sitting at your screen to eat your lunch.

8. Raise your calves: When you’re standing at the photocopier or printer, lift your heels up off the ground and bring them down again. This tiny exercise is so inconspicuous, nobody will notice you’re doing it.

9. Lift your legs: While you’re sat at your desk, lift your leg up straight so it is parallel to the ground. Hold for a few seconds – for as long as you comfortably can – and then switch to the other leg. Repeat 10 to 15 times. You can do this while you’re working, without anyone seeing!

10. Chair rises: While you can’t realistically get down on the floor and do push ups, you can push up and down on the arms of your chair while you’re reading something – a quick easy exercise that doesn’t take you away from the task at hand.

11. Clench your muscles: Your sitting position is ideal for clenching your abs and butt muscles – another easy exercise that nobody will know you are doing. Clench and hold for several seconds before releasing – repeating 10 to 15 times.

12. Stretch: Sitting in the same position can make you ache – so stand up regularly and stretch your arms and legs. Stretching not only relieves stiffness but like other physical activity, it increases the production of endorphins which can elevate your mood, helping you feel less stressed.

After Work

13. Evening work out: Some people prefer to work out in the evening – perhaps because they can take longer to warm up and there is the potential for socialising at the same time. Of course, if you’re not a fan of the gym, there are plenty of other opportunities: walking, dancing, swimming, climbing, martial arts, tennis and badminton are all great ways to get your heart pumping without feeling like you’re really exercising.

14. Exercise at home: You can make exercise at home more entertaining by positioning your exercise bike or machine in front of the TV and watch your favourite programmes while exercising. You could also listen to music – aside from keeping you entertained, some experts believe this can improve endurance.

Go2 telecom specialises in helping office managers and teams make the very most of their working day. For the full selection of our telecoms products and services, head over to our homepage or call our friendly sales team on 01925 768 250.

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