Even if you spend nearly all of your workday at a desk, there are steps you can take to help you get in shape. While getting up and moving around the office is the best way to stay active, sometimes during the day, it just isn’t possible. Fortunately, there are some great exercises you can do while seated at your desk.
Work Your Legs
Purchase a mini-pedal exerciser, also known as a desktop cycle. You can buy one for as little as $30 or $40 dollars for a basic model. A desktop cycle is a small set of pedals (much like you find on a bike) that you can use either on your desktop or on the floor. When you’re ready, push your chair away from your desk to set up the cycle. Pedal your feet until you get tired. When using the pedal exerciser, you can pedal fast, slow or rotate between fast and slow.
Consider purchasing a set of ankle weights for the office. Wear them while lifting your feet slowly off the floor and holding there for about 20 seconds. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
You can also exercise your legs with easy-to-do movements throughout the day. Simply sit and tap your feet. If your employer allows it, play music and tap your feet to the beat. Another easy exercise is to march in place sitting at your desk. Move your feet and knees the way you would if you were marching in place while standing.
Get Strong Abs and Arms
Use your office chair to exercise your abdominal region. Sit with your feet slightly raised off the floor. Hold onto your desk and move the top of your body from the left to right, using only your abdominal core region. If you have a swivel desk chair, you can do the same exercise, using your tummy region to swivel slightly left and then right in your chair. Move to each side at least 10 times. Repeat the exercise at different times throughout your workday.
When it comes to your shoulders, you can exercise them with just a few simple movements. Shrug your shoulders 10 to 15 times while talking on the phone or working on the computer. Another exercise is to shrug your shoulder toward your neck. Hold a pencil between your shoulder and your neck without letting it fall to the floor. Repeat the exercise a few times on each side. You can also loosen up tight muscles by slowly rolling your shoulders forward and backward.
You can get in a quick arm workout by keeping a set of small dumbbells at your desk. Throughout the day, perform 10 to 15 repetitions of dumbbell exercises, such as bicep curls. Or, you can hold a dumbbell vertically in your hand as you bring your arm forward toward your shoulder. Reverse and repeat the exercise using the opposite arm. Another great way to exercise your arms is with the desktop cycle: place it on your desktop and pedal with your arms.
There are lots of ways to move your feet, arms and core while working at your desk. So don’t let a desk job stop you from staying in shape.