It’s important to fit exercise into our busy lives – but with office workers spending upwards of seven hours a day sitting, it’s not enough just to get in the odd trip to a gym or the occasional walk, run or swim.
Instead, for optimal health, learn how to incorporate more exercise in your day-to-day routine, even if that means learning how to improve your fitness without leaving your office cubicle (or even your chair). Spending just half an hour a day on an office chair workout could burn calories, build muscle, help prevent muscle pain and generally lead to a more fit you.
You don’t want to make a scene when important clients are visiting your offices – but you can complete most of the exercises fairly discretely during breaks. It’s also an idea to rope nearby colleagues into joining you!
We suggest you warm up with a few stretches first.
Stretching your back to its full length and inhaling slowing as you pull your tummy in towards your spine, releases the back muscles and strengthens your core. You’ll get the best results if you repeat this stretch 10 or so times.
Move your head slowly from side to side, and rotate both ways at least five times. Drop the right side towards your shoulder, hold for five seconds, and swop to your left side, and repeat five to 10 times.
Pull both shoulders towards your ears, hold and then shrug or rotate, and repeat a few times.
In a seated position, pull one knee as close to your chest as you can, and keep it in position for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other knee.
Once you’re feeling warm and more relaxed, you can move on to the next step of the routine.
Triceps dips are a great way to strengthen your arms.
If your office chair is on castors, be sure to position the back firmly against a wall. Sit on the ground, facing away from the chair, and place your hands on either side of the seat. Ensure your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle, and lift your toes off the ground.
Then slowly lift your body, hold, and lower it, without touching the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Squats strengthen your core and legs. In this exercise regimen, you can opt for the standard squat, or a more energy-sapping version.
With the standard squat, you simply stand in front of the chair with your legs slightly bent, and your arms outstretched in front of you. Slowly lower your rear end towards the seat, without sitting down. Pull into an upright position, and repeat at least 20 times.
In the more difficult version, you stand with your legs apart, with your back facing the chair. Place the top of one foot on the seat, and slowly lower your body to the floor. Press up, and repeat 20 times, before switching legs.
You can give the glutes a serious work over, and burn up to 30 calories, with this exercise. Simply hold the back of your chair, extend the right arm out in a horizontal position to the side, and balance on your left leg.
Lift your right leg in a sideways position, and try and touch your extended arm. Repeat 20 times on both sides.
Lunges, like squats, are great for a strong body core. They can be done in a stationary position next to your desk.
You can hold onto the back of the chair for extra balance, and, with one leg in front of the other, slowly lower the knee of the back leg towards the ground. Swop legs and repeat 30 times.
The best way to stretch the hamstrings, and work the core, is by doing a dozen or so kick-overs with each leg. Stand behind the chair, and move one leg up and over the back in a clockwise and counter-clockwise motion. Repeat 10 to 12 times, for each leg.
At K-Mark, we manufacture an extensive range of high-quality, ergonomic office chairs. They won’t help you build muscle, but they provide optimal support for the spine and muscles, helping prevent office work from taking its toll on your health. Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.