Being active is good for your mental & physical health so it’s important to keep moving even in the workplace.
With most of us working, finding time to exercise can be challenging. By the end of the workday, we have little time or energy left to get moving. However, you don’t have to do it all at home. There are some exercises that you can do at your desk and around the workplace.
Find opportunities to move more at work
Walking is an easy way to exercise and is good for your mental health. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, just enough to stretch your legs and get your body moving.
You can use your lunch break to walk around the block and invite some colleagues to join you to make it more fun. This is also a great way to get some fresh air, as well as getting some exercise.
Taking breaks from your computer and walking around the office occasionally is also a good and easy way to move more.
If you are taking phone calls, you could try standing up when on the phone.
Exercises to do in the office
Here are some exercises you can do whilst sitting at a desk that are easy and straight forward:
Oblique twists How to do them: Sit in a swivelling chair with your hands holding onto the edge of the desk, and then spin yourself to one side as far as you can using your hands. Then switch to the other side. Repeat this for at least 10 reps on each side.
Seated leg extensions How to do them: Sit up tall and have your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg until it’s parallel with the floor and straight out in front of you by contracting the muscle on the front of your upper thigh. Hold it for a second and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Here are some exercises you can do whilst at your desk:
Desk Pushups How to do them: Start by facing your desk and leaning against it, with your hands spread slightly wider than your shoulders and arms straight. Then lower yourself until your chest nearly reaches the desk, then return to the starting position.
Calf raises How to do them: Stand tall and hold onto your chair or desk for balance. Next, rise onto your toes and hold it for a moment, then lower your heels back to the ground. Repeat 10 times. Desk Plank How to do them: With your elbows and forearms against the desk and your hands together, move your feet back so you are leaning with your body in a straight line. Hold that position for 30 seconds.
Other exercises to do at work
Here are some exercises you can do whilst standing at work:
Lunges How to do them: on your lunch break Start by standing tall, with good posture and your hands on your hips. Next, take a large step forward and bend your front knee while keeping it in line with your toes. Then, step back to your starting position. Complete 10 reps on each side.
Jumping Jacks How to do them: Start by standing with your arms by your side and your feet shoulder-width apart, then jump up and land with your feet wider apart, with your hands above your head. Jump back to the start position. Repeat 10 times.
Many of these exercises can be done if you are working from home too. You can even try free workout videos or some yoga in your living room on your lunch break
Exercising regularly can help you de-stress and help with your mental wellbeing.
Take care when exercising and make sure it's safe to do so. Stop if any exercise starts hurting and speak to your GP if you have any medical conditions that might be made worse by exercise.
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