So what’s a worker chained to his or her desk to do? Luckily, short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between conference calls and Gchats can help improve fitness levels and heart health. While these deskercises, or desk exercises for the cubicle-bound, won’t promise Olympic mile times or the ultimate six-pack abs, they might just improve strength and burn a few extra calories to boot.
No time to exercise before or after work? No problem. These are some simple ways you can get your daily exercise right from your desk.
1. Take the stairs! Take two at a time for a real leg burn.
2. Tone your buttocks. To start, squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release.
3. Chair squats. To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds. Do 15 times.
4. Arm pumps. Sitting tall in your chair, stretch both arms over your head and reach for the sky.
5. Take a walk. Instead of sending an e-mail walk down the hall to your coworker’s desk.
6. Calf raises. Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Raise your heels off the floor and slowly lower them.
7. Football foot drill. While seated, speedily tap your toes on the floor under your desk. Do for about 30 seconds at a time
8. Lunge. While walking, take the widest step you can and lunge forward.
9. Shoulder raises. Raise your shoulder to your ear, hold and then relax. Repeat, alternating shoulders.
10. Water bottle weights. Use a full water bottle as a weight to increase the difficulty of your workout. You can do front raises, overhead presses, and bicep curls with a water bottle.
11. Chair dips. Place the palms of your hands on your chair and your feet on the floor. Move your rear end off of the edge of your seat. Bend your elbows and lower your body. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
12. Neck rotations. Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.
13. The wooden leg. Sit in your chair, extend one leg out straight in front of you and hold for two seconds. Then raise it up as high as you can, and hold it again for two seconds. Repeat with each leg 15 times.
14. Hamstring stretch. Push your chair away from your desk and put a leg up on the desk. Flex your foot and lean forward slightly over your leg while keeping your back straight. Hold for 10 seconds. Point your foot, lean, and hold for five seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
15. Desk push-ups. Stand a yard or more away from your desk, with your feet together. Place your palms on the edge of the desk a shoulder’s width apart. Lower your chest to the edge of the desk, and push back up. Remember to exhale on the way up. Do 20 times.
No more excuses. There is a way to get your daily dose of exercise from your desk. For more office exercises check out the Washington Post or view other ways to improve your health and fitness level here.