Tiny Workouts: Working out…at work!

Tiny Workout Series

The question of the day is: How do you fit in a workout at work?

No, I’m not talking about sneaking out to the gym on your lunch hour or wondering whether or not the act of running late is actual exercise (looks at self). I’m talking about discovering mini workouts right where you sit just as we discussed a few weeks ago.

We already know that so much of modern humanity’s physical downfall can be attributed to the 9-5 regimen, along with that container of ice cream you ate while binging on Judge Judy, although that is another story. What we’re looking at is how to carve some exercise time out of the 8 hours (or more) that we spend sitting in an office which, when it comes down to it, is not really all that great for you on both a mental and physical level. Even if you have a home office, you are not immune to the stagnation and stresses that office work taxes the body with. In fact, you may even have more distractions to deal with than the average office worker.

So let’s stop procrastinating right now and get to it.

At your desk – Sitting at your desk doesn’t mean that you just have to sit there as there are many more options for exercise available to you than you might think. Now you can’t exactly drop and do 40 push-ups in your cubicle unless you want to be labelled as “that sweaty human” and honestly, have you seen the floor at your office lately? Exactly. So with that in mind, here are some ways that you can fit in some movement at your desk.

  1. Standing Desk – Oh the standing desk. aka everyone’s favorite fad from 2 years ago. My office had a serious run on the standing desk market where we see no less than 15 standing desk get approved for purchase. How many do you think are in use today? If you guessed 0, you are 100% correct. However, this just means that everyone gave up, which is kind of sad.  Whether the Standing Desk is a (was) a fad or a permanent fixture doesn’t detract from its benefits. We believe that standing is great for your core and general well being. Plenty of studies have been done on this which we’ll link to later. In the meantime, stand. And if you can’t stand at your desk, read on for other exercises that you can do.
  2. Posture – If you tend to slouch, you’ll know that keeping a good posture is hard work! You don’t need me to tell you that, or to remind you. Now, keeping a good posture may not seem like exercise, but avoiding computer neck and slouching is really important, and hard to remain conscious of. Maintaining good posture may even hurts if you’ve been slouching for a long time and aren’t used to it. So, instead of giving you a bunch of exercises to do, try setting up a calendar reminder for different intervals during the day, just to keep up your awareness. I’m sure there are good posture apps out there but I really don’t believe that you need 1 more app to distract you. So that’s my pro tip: use your calendar.

In meetings – Those dreaded meetings. What a waste of time! Also, what a perfect opportunity to fit in some ninja workouts. Ok, so there’s not much exercise that you can do in a meeting that won’t draw attention to you so we’ll have to focus on legs and feet. Still, any of these are discretely doable:

  1. Stretch your legs – Yes, you can stretch your legs under that conference room table while the presenter drones on and on about some policy or process. The tricky thing here is to appear focused on what the presenter is saying while also remaining focused on stretching your legs under the table.
  2. Ankle therapy – Similar to stretching your legs, you can easily rotate your ankles under the table to fit in some movement. No, you don’t need to do this throughout the entire meeting but your ankles will thank you for the occasional movement and stave off the dreaded office atrophy.

Stairs – It pretty much goes without saying and plus, you’ve heard it before: If you have a chance to take the stairs instead of the elevator, do it. If the office elevator has broken down, don’t get mad, welcome it as a chance for some exercise.

Do you have any ninja office exercises that you want to share? We’d love to hear about them.

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