Sitting in front of a screen all day isn’t a physically stimulating activity, especially if you have meetings, paperwork and deadlines to contend with. However, with a little ingenuity, you can transform some of the time spent at your desk into low-stress workouts throughout the day.
The following five office exercises can help strengthen and tone your muscles while offsetting the ill effects of sitting for hours on end—which, on average, increases an individual’s death rate by 30%.
1. Whenever possible, take the stairs
It may seem like common sense, but opting to take the stairs rather than the elevator every day strengthens your heart and lungs as well as burns enough calories to help you lose around 1 to 3 kilograms annually.
2. Perform arm exercises
Your upper body can get stiff and tired after typing or writing for several hours. Stretch your arms out either in front or to your sides and make small, tight circles with your fingertips for two to three minutes. This exercise helps stretch your upper arm and shoulder muscles.
3. Do office yoga
Each hour, set aside a few minutes and get up from your desk and stretch. Stretching reduces fatigue and stress as well as improves posture and productivity.
4. Reorganize your desk
There are alternatives to the traditional desk layout that can be beneficial to your overall health. One simple adjustment is to replace your office chair with a stability ball—which can improve your posture and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Another alternative is to convert your desk into a standing desk—this layout not only provides a new perspective, but also improves posture and focus, reduces your chance of developing heart disease and can lead up to the loss of over 3 kilograms a year.
5. Perform the “foot alphabet”
Twice a day, stretch out one leg and spell the alphabet with the tip of your toe. Repeat the exercise with the opposite leg. This exercise stretches the tendons in your ankles and calves and increases the blood flow to your legs.
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