Friday Five: Work Out in Your Office

Have your own office, or a break room with some space? If you know you won’t be able to get to the gym or go for a run later, but still want some exercise, consider taking a little time out of your day to work out at your office.

Here are five easy but effectives exercises that you can do at or around your desk. And don’t worry about what your colleagues are thinking–they’re just jealous.

1. Stairs

Most buildings still have these nowadays, contrary to popular belief that the elevator has completely cornered the going-up-one-floor market. Take one minute (a few times per day) and climb them–see how many times you can get up and down the entire staircase in that timespan. Go two stairs at a time for those of you who have mastered the art of stair-climbing, or just have long legs. Taking a few minutes out of your day to climb some stairs will get some blood pumping through you again, and get you focused prior to your next big task.

2. Desk push-ups

That desk has to be good for something more than just holding your piles of papers, right? Of course! Put your hands on one of the ends of your desk, walk back a few steps, and try some push-ups against the desk. Not as strenuous as regular push-ups, but enough to get some blood flowing through your body. Do these a few times a day as well. Note: regular horizontal push-ups are also quality forms of exercise in the office.

3. Desk dips

Further proving that the desk is more useful than you may think, you can try desk dips to work your triceps. Put your hands on the end of the desk while facing away from it. Slowly lower yourself down a few inches, and then lift yourself back up. The combination of desk push-ups and dips is a good way to fit in some basic strength training as a supplement to your normal routine.

4. Ab twists

You don’t even have to leave your seat for this! If you have a water bottle or ream of paper lying around, grab it for this one. Hold it at chest level, and twist your torso to the left, and then to the right, as far as you comfortably can. You should feel your abs contract as you twist further to either side. Best part, these aren’t terribly noticeable.

5. Leg Extensions

Trying to think of the next sentence in your big report, or the next multi-million dollar idea that will make you famous worldwide? Yeah, that’s a little extreme, but this can be done while still exercising. Sit up straight in your chair, holding your abs in. Slowly lift one leg to be parallel to the floor, and hold for a few seconds. Lower it and do the same with the other leg. It’s that simple!

BONUS POINTS: Office Treadmill

Sounds like it’s straight out of an episode of Seinfeld (think the opposite of George’s office nap space). If you have an old treadmill laying around, or feel like buying a new one, take it to your office! Set it to low (maybe 1 mph) and walk while you work. Sure, it’s not the same as getting outside and enjoying the fresh air, but you’re killing two birds with one stone here.

Regardless of how you choose to stay in shape, make sure you get up and stretch, or walk around the office (but not to the vending machine) to keep blood moving throughout your body. Look away from the computer screen every few minutes, as well.

We were made to move around, not sit behind a desk for eight hours every day. It may not be a gym, but you can help fulfill your bodies’ natural tendencies without much difficulty.


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