Maximize those hours at work, and be healthier, by implementing these effortless exercises while getting your work accomplished. Anyone can do these, and you will feel better as well.
- The Toe Tap
Tap into your inner Fred Astaire by speedily tapping those toes on the floor under your desk. Or graduate to a harder (and less inconspicuous) move: Stand in front of a small trashcan and lift up those legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet, in soccer-drill fashion.
- The Silent Seat Squeeze
To start toning, simply squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release. Repeat until the agenda wraps up or the glutes tire. The results will be uplifting in more ways than one.
- The Seated Leg Raiser
When pay raises are nowhere to be seen, consider the leg raise. (Bonus: they’re hardly noticeable underneath the desk!) While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. Underwhelmed? Loop a purse or briefcase strap over the ankle for added weight, or for more of an abs workout, add a crunch.
- Utilize Those Reams of Paper
Scope out the office for a ream of paper, or a sealed package of printing paper. While seated, place the stack in between the knees and press legs inward, engaging the inner thighs. Continue squeezing the paper ream in place for 30-60 seconds while sorting through the morning’s flood of emails. (Now that’s multitasking!)
- The Shoulder Shrug
Not recommended for board meetings (unless you’re really on the fence). Simply raise both shoulders up toward the ears, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat for 15 reps. Feeling unstoppable? Try advanced shoulder shrugs while standing and holding a paper ream in each hand.
- The Desk Chair Swivel
Lucky enough to have a fun swivel chair? Use its twirl to your advantage with these oblique abs fix. 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.
- Fun With Your Wheelie Chair
Go ahead, play with your wheelie chair (everyone wants to!). While seated in a chair with wheels, position yourself at arm’s length from a desk or table and grasp its edge with your hands. Next, engage the core, raise the feet slightly off the ground, and pull with your arms until the chair slowly rolls forward and your chest touches the desk’s edge. Then roll back by pushing away, with the feet still raised. Repeat 20 times, or until you burn holes into the carpet. A variation to stretch your back and strengthen your biceps, place your hands on the desk and hang on. Slowly push your chair back until your head is between your arms and you're looking at the floor. Then slowly pull yourself back in. Again, 15 of these.
- The Posture Perfecter
Perfect posture is a must for long days at the desk. Practice safe desk ergonomics by adjusting the chair height to make sure the feet, hips, and arms are at 90-degree angles to the floor. Engage the core to keep the back straight throughout the day. No slouching allowed!
- The Fab Abs Squeeze
Another silent deskercise, this one can be covertly executed when walking down the hall or seated during a call. 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.
- Calf muscle toning
Give your calf muscles a work out by raising your legs up on the very tips of your toes while remaining seated. Your calf muscles should start to burn after a few seconds.
Hold for ten seconds and then repeat eight times.
- Ankle Rotations
This exercise can strengthen the flexibility of your ankles and make you less likely to suffer from sprains.
Rotate your ankles in both directions for five seconds. Do five sets of eight reps in each direction.
- Arm stretches
Just because you’re seated at your desk doesn’t mean your arms can’t do just about anything they want. Many arm exercises can be performed while seated at your desk. Stretch the muscles in your right arm by reaching as far to the left as you can with your right arm while supporting it in the crook of your left elbow and then hold it there. Feel the stretch for five seconds. Do eight reps before switching over to your left arm.
- Wrist Stretch
Extend an arm in front, palm up and grab the fingers with your other hand. Gently pull the fingers towards you to stretch the forearm, holding for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Tense and relax the muscles in your hands. Make fists, spread your fingers and bend your fingers.
Go on a Walk About
Rather than sending an email, dialing an extension, or private messaging that coworker take a walk to give them the information or ask the question. While you are at it, take the elevator rather than the stairs!
Keep forgetting to do your deskercises at work? Make a calendar reminder or apply sticky notes around the workstation. By using these simple tips you will start to shape up in no time.