Back in the Office: 4 Easy Desk Exercises to Keep You Moving
Is your work-from-home time coming to an end?
See how you can use healthy exercise habits to improve your workday
If you’re back in the full swing of office life, or you’re just about to make the transition back to work, chances are your exercise habits are changing too.
You might be wondering how you can keep up the healthy habits now that you’re back at your desk, or maybe you’re not sure how to get started.
Regardless, we’ve got some easy full-proof tricks and desk exercises you can adopt to create (or maintain) a sustainable office exercise routine.
Is your workspace making you unhealthy?
Sedentary living has been linked to a whole host of health conditions, such as slower metabolism, obesity, increased blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and increased risk of injury.
The answer? Move more and sit less.
We’ve got 4 tricks to boost your office life!
1. Step up the NEAT
Did you know 25% of Americans sit for more than eight hours a day? Chances are many of us could benefit from a little more movement and that’s where NEAT comes in.
NEAT, short for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, refers to our total daily caloric expenditure outside of dedicated exercising, eating, and sleeping.
In short, it’s how we move around. Think climbing the stairs, walking to work, or taking the dog out.
Interestingly, our workouts only account for a small proportion of our total caloric expenditure, with NEAT playing a huge role in our daily burn (and our metabolism.)
The more we move the more calories we burn, and the greater the health benefits.
It’s easier than you think!
5 ways to increase NEAT
- Cycle or walk to work important to maintain healthy eyes, especially, if you use a computer or your phone for long periods of time.
- Take your lunch outdoors
- Enjoy regular breaks from your desk to move around
- Choose the stairs
- Encourage walking meetings for two people
2. Try Desk Stretching Exercises
Desk exercises are a quick and easy way to move and stretch, helping you to avoid injury and pain.
Tried and tested, here are 4 desk exercises to try.
Seated Spinal Rotations
- Sit on a chair with your spine tall
- Hold your shoulders, opposite hands to opposite shoulders
- Gently rotate your upper body from left to right
- Stand feet hip-width distance apart, let your arms hang by your sides
- Gently tilt your head forward
- As you exhale, roll down through your spine toward the floor, leading with your head
- Hold with hands down by toes
- Gently roll back up (spine before head)
- Standing position, roll your shoulders back in circles
- Imagine your shoulder blades drawing together as you open your chest
Neck and Upper Traps
- Sit on a chair with your spine tall
- Gently turn your head from side to side
- Option: tilt your head down, ear to shoulder – change sides
3. Adapt your Desk Space
Work ergonomics (how our office space is set up) also play a significant role in office health.
Studies show that poor ergonomics can cause injuries such as repetitive motion injury (RMI) and cumulative trauma disorder (CTD.)
Here are a few quick ways to improve your ergonomic set up at work.
Standing desks help to improve posture, reduce back pain, and can increase calorie burn.
Go one step further with a treadmill desk- allowing you to increase your NEAT and your work output.
You’ve probably seen exercise balls used in the gym, but did you know they’re great to work from?
Exercise balls help maintain a neutral spine position, improve posture, strengthen the lower back, and improve core stability.
Standing Desk Mats
Desk mats make standing more comfortable, helping to reduce aching and fatigue.
4. Get Motivated
When it comes to exercise, motivation is the key to success.
We’ve got 3 motivators to fuel your office workouts.
Make exercise sociable.
Whether it’s starting a league or competition, using a Slack channel, or taking lunch walks with colleagues—invite others!
Knowledge is power.
Using a Fitbit, or similar device, can help you to monitor your steps, calories, and goals; It can also build motivation!
Mix it up
Boredom is the fastest way to veer off your workout routine.
Add new exercises, find new walking routes, or change up your challenges.
Going back to the office might feel like a huge change, but adopting small and simple habits like these desk exercises can have a huge impact when it comes to your everyday health!