Deskercise 101: 14 Ways To Exercise At Work

May 27, 2013  |  
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Shutterstock

When it comes to staying active throughout the day and living a healthier life, our jobs tend to be the thorn in our sides. Since many people work sedentary or semi-sedentary jobs, it’s hard to stay active during work hours. But, the human body is designed to be on the move as much as necessary, which means that sitting down for hours at a time each day can be detrimental to your health. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to get your exercise in during work. Here are 14 ways to do just that.

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Shutterstock

Park far away

One of the best ways to get some exercise in after driving to work is to park your car as far away as possible. Of course you’ll have to give yourself some extra time to walk the added length to your building, so be sure to leave a bit earlier each morning. Walk at a brisk pace and get your heart pumping, and before you know it, you’ll be at your desk.

Take the stairs

If your office building has escalators, say goodbye to them! Taking the stairs to get wherever you need to go is a great way to do some cardiovascular exercise that really gets you breathing a bit harder and your heart working. If you want to really push yourself, do two steps at a time, and you’ll definitely be feeling it later on.

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Shutterstock

Visit people in person more

Email, chat, and phone calls have become the way of the world today because of their convenience. However, if you want to decrease the amount of time you spend sitting at your desk, go visit the people you need to talk to in person more often. This way you’re able to get some more walking in throughout the day. You don’t have to do this for every single person, but do it as much as possible.

Image: Thinkstock

Image: Thinkstock

Keep your legs moving at your desk

When you do have to be at your desk, swing your legs or tap your toes. Though this isn’t a strenuous exercise, you are still moving in some way or another, which means that your heart will have to do a bit more work. Keeping your legs moving will also decrease your chance of a blood clot in the leg, which is common in those who have a very sedentary lifestyle.

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Shutterstock

Utilize empty space

Has everyone left to go home for the day? Is everyone in a meeting? Is there an empty conference space near by? If so, use them! When no one is around, you can do whatever exercise you want. Push ups, wall squats, lunges, or just dance around. Anything to get the blood flowing and your breathing up.

Stretch

You shouldn’t get too many looks for this one. When you’re sitting at your desk, do a couple of stretches. Reach your arms up towards the ceiling and stretch for 30 seconds. Stretching is more of an anaerobic exercise but it is still helpful in living a more active lifestyle. Stretching is crucial to prevent injury.

Stand instead of sitting

Sitting in a chair for hours at a time can cause back problems. If possible, stand at your desk for a few minutes and type as opposed to sitting. Standing on it’s own is much better than sitting, and you can give your back a chance to be in a more neutral position. Standing is especially helpful if you’re prone to slouching when you sit.

Use a pilates ball as a chair

Surely you’ve seen people sitting on those giant inflatable balls during yoga and pilates. You can easily bring one of these balls into work and use it as a chair. Not only will the ball allow you to strengthen your leg and ab muscles, your posture will also improve, without you even doing it purposefully. Better posture means a strong spine and back.

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Shutterstock

Do calf raises while you wait

When you’re waiting for a document to print or when you’re waiting by the fax to receive a document, do some calf raises. Lift your heels off the ground, hold it for a few seconds, bring them down, and then repeat. While you may be a bit noticeable, doing calf raises is a pretty standard exercise that won’t get you too many looks. Plus you get to stretch and strengthen your legs.

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Shutterstock

Do leg lifts

If you sit at a cubicle, leg lifts are the perfect exercise for you. When you’re sitting at your desk, straighten one of your legs and then lift it parallel to the ground. Hold your leg in that position then bring it back to the ground. Switch legs and repeat. This can be done at anytime during the day, even when you’re as busy as can be.

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Shutterstock

Clench your muscles

Want a firmer butt and tighter abs? Clenching your muscles can definitely help you achieve that look! While sitting, clench your muscles and hold them for at least 15 seconds. You can repeat this throughout the day without making yourself obvious at all. Clenching your muscles will keep them strong and toned.

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Shutterstock

March or run in place

If you have a few minutes when no one is around, take 30 seconds and march or run in place. This doesn’t require a lot of room and all you need to do is lift your knees up as high as you can. This is a simple cardiovascular exercise that will get your heart going. Do the exercise for 30 seconds and repeat when you can.

iStockphoto

iStockphoto

Do curls

So most office materials and tools aren’t overly heavy, but for this exercise, you’ll want to find the heaviest item available to you. Make sure it’s an item you can safely hold in your hand or get a good grip on. You can curls with the object and then switch arms. Try using a water bottle or even a gallon jug. This will help tone your arms.

Chair swivel

If you have a swivel chair at work, you can put it to good use! When sitting at your desk, rest your fingers on the desk top and have your feet hovering over the floor. Use your ab muscles, with little help from your fingers, and move the chair side to side. This will give you a little ab workout right at your desk!

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