I went from walking miles upon miles a day going from class to class in college, to sitting at a desk 8-9 hours a day. I don’t know what was worse walking though rain, sleet, hail, and snow to get to school, or watching my once powerful metabolism hit the breaks. What I do know is that I am happy that there are some simply stretches and exercises that can be done in order to help counteract some of this inactivity throughout the day.
1. Squat Then Sit
According to a study done at Iowa State University that used activity monitoring equipment to track the patterns of 20 obese and 20 lean individuals it was found that, “obese people sit 2.5 hours more per day than lean folks”. Fitness expert and Author of Fitness 9 to 5 suggests that doing 1 squat for a min. each day at your desk will burn about 50 calories by the end of the week. I say why not challenge yourself even more. Try and do a squat every 30 min. at your desk. Your co-workers may look at you funny, but who cares, shoot tell them to join in!
Sitting is a perfect time to stretch. Just as you would before you work out you can stretch your thighs out as you sit on the bus, in the car (passenger seat of course), and even at your desk. The great part about this is NOBODY HAS TO KNOW! This is one of those moves that can be done discreetly. Try making a number 4 out of your legs by placing on of your ankles over the opposite legs knee and lean forward. Also try to stretch your arms up to the ceiling and lean back every 20-30 min. This will help prevent back and neck pain from being hunched over all day. Do this a couple times a day, and you’ve officially mastered yoga at work!
3. Push Ups
Ever thought you wanted to get arms like Janet Jackson. Well you must start somewhere. Task yourself to do a wall push up every time you get up to go to the bathroom. You can do them in the stall or just in the vanity room. Do 10-15 each time, you will definitely begin to see and FEEL a difference.
4. Keep Moving
With lack of movement “The blood pools in your lower extremities, causing the ankles to swell and varicose veins to become more pronounced”, says Geralyn Coopersmith, Director of Equinox Fitness Training Institute. Every hour at your desk move your legs around to get the blood circulating. You can even mimic walking to stairs for an added bit of exercise. You should also try and get up every few hours and just take a short walk somewhere, even if its just to the bathroom, or to the drinking fountain.