Exercise at work without breaking a sweat

Exercise is not just about going to the gym and doing aerobics or other strenuous physical activity. It’s easy to get some sweat-free exercise at work. Exercising at the office is as simple as moving your body during times when you would normally be inactive. Light activity have been found to be beneficial even if you’re already buff from the gym.

There are several studies which have shown that prolonged sitting can be detrimental to a person’s health, and that the result from a sedentary lifestyle cannot be easily reversed by 30 minutes of vigorous exercise. Researchers found that those individual who spends 6 or more hours sitting during the day have a 68% chance of becoming overweight compared to those people who sit less.  Exercising at the office can help you reverse those numbers.

So here are some tips that can get you off that chair. Following these simple and practical tips can also help you lose some of that extra weight permanently.

Tip # 1 Walk in the hallway at work

If you are having a long day at work and you’re already running out of ideas, then it means it’s time that you stand up and walk the hallway in your office – it’ll rejuvenate both your mind and body. If you’re in a long phone call, then stand and stretch. Make it a habit to walk and talk to your fellow workers at least 2 times a day instead of just sending an email.  It’ll keep you connected as a team as well.

Walking up stairs

Use the stairs whenever possible - Image by martineno via Flickr

Tip # 2 Use the stairs

You’ve probably heard of or have used a Stair-master. They were created because many studies have proven that taking stairs is really beneficial and is an excellent form of exercise. There was an experiment conducted where researchers computed that you can burn at least 6 pounds a year just by taking 2 or more flights of stairs going up and down everyday. Make it a habit to use the stairs in the office if you are just going to the next floor instead of using the elevator.  You have a built-in stair climber right there at work.

Tip # 3 Stretch at your desk

Add a few stretches while you’re talking on the phone or waiting for the printer/copier.  You won’t look crazy and you’ll feel great.  Reach alternating hands to the sky or do neck rolls – front, left, back, side.  Simple exercises done standing at your desk. You’ll feel better and if you’re on the telephone, your caller won’t have a clue you’re exercising.

What's on my (stand-up) desk: 2011 edition

Raising the whole desk may be an option - Image by :nick via Flickr

Tip #4 Make Your Own Standing Desk Set-up

Standing at your desk is the simplest move that most any office worker can do. Studies show that you burn 63 calories an hour by sitting at your desk, whereas standing can burn  as many as 127 calories an hour; that’s twice as much.

Today, there are companies who offer high chairs and drafting-style tables so that employees can choose to work on their feet most of the time and sit during breaks. If you can do this then you’ll be surprised to see how energize you’ll feel.

If your workplace isn’t this progressive, check to see if they’ll allow you to make your own standing desk set-up. Bring in two sturdy plastic or wooden crates (or something similar). Take the first and stand it on its side to make a tall stand. Place your monitor on it with the back wall supporting it (be sure you’re complying will all workplace safety rules).  With the other crate, place it open face down and put your keyboard and mouse on it.  If your company won’t allow this, see if they’ll allow you to boost the height of the desk by putting blocks under it so the entire desk is raised – this is a bit more stable options. Or purchase a computer riser – they’re inexpensive and work great.  These should be at just the right height for a standing desk set-up.  If you can’t do this, stand during all telephone calls or any other task that allows you to.

Getting a few more minutes of exercise in during the day will benefit your mind and body….now stand up and stretch!