Monday, April 28, 2014

Exercising At The Office

From the dawn of evolution, people were built to move around, not to spend their whole lives sitting at a desk. It doesn’t matter how ergonomically friendly your office furniture is, the fact is that prolonged sitting results in sore backs, headaches, and a general feeling of sluggishness. Then, of course, there’s the problem of weight gain when a person has a basically sedentary lifestyle. You need to exercise, but there’s the time factor. If you’re so busy with work that family life takes a back seat, as it does for many modern workers, where are you going to find the time to exercise?

Believe it or not, you could actually squeeze in a little exercise at work. Take a break from time to time and try these easy, fun office exercises.

Hip Hike

The adult worker probably doesn’t exist who hasn’t had at least one episode of pain in the area of the lower back over the course of their work history. This is an easy exercise that you can do without even leaving your office chair, and it’s very effective in easing lower back pain. Start by sitting up straight – imagine that there’s a string attached to the top of your head and it’s pulling you toward the ceiling. Now, lift your left butt-cheek up until it’s as close to being off the seat of the chair as you can get it without actually standing up. Now return it to the chair. Do the same with your right butt-cheek. Go back to the left, and get a sort of “rocking” motion going, from cheek to cheek. Do this for about thirty seconds at a time.

Office Chair Squat

Office Chair Squat

This is a very simple exercise, but it’s also one of the most effective for overall body strengthening. Start by standing as tall as you can – again, imagine that string attached to your head that’s pulling you upward. Relax your shoulders, and lift up your toes so that they’re touching the inside tops of your shoes. This centers your feet, and will help you to be sure that you’re doing the squat properly. Now, with your back straight, lower your butt until it’s about an inch away from the seat of the office chair. Try to hold this position for ten seconds. Remember, it’s important to keep your knees behind the toes so that you don’t cause undue stress to your knee joints. The muscles in your butt are what you’ll use to get your body back to its original standing position.

Rule #18 - LIMBER UP

Victory Stretch

When you’re sitting at a desk for hours, your posture often suffers. This exercise will improve your posture and it’s also great for the inner core. Start by breathing in and sitting up straight. Now, exhale and stretch your spine, trying to make your body seem as tall as you can. Hold the position, and then lean forward. Extend your arms and open your chest, as if you were pushing upward on the ceiling. Rinse and Repeat.

Business Flight

This exercise is very beneficial for the mid-back and the hamstrings, which are the areas that are most often compromised when a person occupies a sedentary position for several hours during the run of the day. Stand up straight – use the “imaginary string” again to pull you into position. Use your hips as you would a hinge, bending over while extending one leg and allowing the other to hold the weight of your body. You’ll want your torso and the extended leg to be parallel with the floor. Hold the position for three seconds, and then go back to your original position. Do this for about a minute on each leg, and then switch legs and repeat the exercise.


It would be ideal if you could build a visit to the gym or at least regular walks into your daily routine. However, if you’re really pressed for time, these easy exercises can be done during quick breaks at work. They will certainly have a profound effect on your physical health and mental clarity, and gear you up for your regional office chair race.

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