Workout in the office with these 6 simple exercises

If you work 9-5, you’ll know the aches and pains that come with sitting at your desk for more than 7 hours a day. But did you know, excessive sitting is also linked with weight gain, type 2 diabetes and even some types of cancer? Studies suggest that sitting for extended periods of time not only slows down your metabolism, hindering the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and break down body fat, but can also be as bad for you as smoking.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Here’s 6 simple (and subtle) exercises you can do in the office to kickstart your metabolism, improve your health and boost productivity.

Warm up: climb the stairs

Skip the lift and climb the stairs on your way into the office. Something as simple as climbing the stairs can kick start your metabolism, helping burn fat and build muscle. Burn up to 10% more calories by climbing two steps at a time. If you’re feeling brave, try jogging up and down the staircase a few times on your break to get your heart pumping.

Seated leg lifts

This is the perfect desk workout if you want to remain seated– or escape the prying eyes of passing colleagues. Whilst seated at your desk, lift both legs in the air so they are parallel to the floor and hold them there for five seconds. Lower your legs back to the floor, without letting them touch, before raising them again. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 to feel the burn in your thighs and calves.

Tricep dips

While this isn’t the most discreet exercise to be doing in the office, it does offer loads of health benefits. Face away from the desk or chair (preferably one without wheels) and sit on the edge of the surface or seat and slide off. Slowly lower your body until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle then raise your body back to seat-height. Repeat for 3 sets of 12.

“Run” at your desk while sitting

If you can’t spare a few minutes away from your desk to get your blood pumping, this is the ideal exercise for you. Whilst sitting down, move your legs up and down as though you were running. Repeat three or four times in short bursts.

Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder shrugs are perfect for developing your traps, a kite-shaped muscle covering your shoulders and upper back. What’s more, this another exercise you can do discreetly at your desk. While sitting straight in your chair, pull in your core and lower your arms to your side. Raise your shoulders up to your ears and keep them there for 1 to 2 seconds before lowering them down again. Repeat for 3 sets of 12.

Glute clenches

Get a perk bottom while sitting at your desk. Simply squeeze your glutes as tight as you can for 2 seconds, relax, then repeat. Once you get the hang of it, hold for longer periods of time. Repeat the sequence throughout the day.

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/26/long-sedentary-periods-are-bad-for-health-and-cost-nhs-700m-a-year

https://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/11/health/sitting-increases-risk-of-death-study/index.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/do-sit-day-six-stretches-need-stop-body-seizing/

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