12 Secret Exercises to Beat Sedentary Lifestyle
You might be aware by now that sitting at your desk from 9 to 5 is killing you softly. What makes your static desk job worse is you’re not doing anything about it. You keep on eating your lunch at your desk instead of going out, chatting with colleagues online instead of visiting them in person, and refusing to leave your seat unless it’s bathroom break.
Are you guilty of this so-called “sitting disease”? Well, stop what you’re doing. Working at a desk doesn’t mean you have to live a sedentary lifestyle.
You can do simple exercises to break inactivity and sedentary lifestyle and prevent work-induced medical conditions like obesity, body aches
varicose veins, heart disease, and diabetes. And we’re not talking about gym-like workouts that leave you with strange looks from your coworkers. We’re talking about silent desk and office exercises that are effective enough to save you from sedentary lifestyle. The fun part is they are too subtle your coworkers won’t even notice you’re lifting a muscle.
Beat Sedentary Lifestyle With These 12 Secret Exercises You Can Do At Work
In fact, you can do some of the following right now.
- Conquer the stairs
Taking the stairs is better than riding the elevator, unless your office is located at the 35th floor and you’re suffering from severe asthma. Move those underworked leg muscles and pressured veins by using your fire exit stairs and climb at least five floors. If your office is located at the 35th, for instance, take the lift up to the 30th and climb your way up using the stairs.
Climbing and descending staircases help burn calories, with 0.17 calories burned per stair climbed and 0.05 calories burned per stair descended. It will also help you wake up and get your blood pumping during lazy office afternoons.
- Wander around
Take a stroll around the office or down the hall whenever possible. Walking benefits not just the physical health but the mental health as well, for it promotes good mood and better focus and concentration. Just always walk fast to get your heart beating faster and maintain good posture by keeping your head up, and neck, shoulders, and back relaxed, and swinging your arms freely.
You can even level up your game and combine walking and climbing stairs, ascending from 5th floor to 8th floor and exploring corridors. Just don’t forget to go back to your desk to work!
- Seated leg raise
You can exercise right now while sitting on your desk chair and reading this article. While seated, straighten one leg then hold it in place for 5 to 10 secods. Lower the leg back without letting your foot touch the floor. Repeat the process on the other foot. Do it 15 times.
If you want to step up your game, you can loop your handbag or briefcase over your ankle for added weight. Leg raises don’t just prevent varicose veins and improve circulation but also tightens your abs.
- Wall sit
Look for a blank wall space and stand against it. Walk your feet out about two feet in front of you, spread about six inches apart, then squat down to a 90-degree angle. Try to hold to position for 20 to 60 seconds before sliding back up and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 sits for toned glutes and thighs.
- Desk squat
You can also do the desk squat. It’s as if you’re sitting in front of your computer, but this time, you take the chair out of the scene. While standing with feet together, bend knees slightly and raise the arms straight up or toward the computer screen. Hold for at least 15 seconds and release. Repeat for 4 to 6 times.
- Standing calf raises
While you’re waiting for a large attachment to be uploaded, stand up, hold onto the back of your desk chair for support, and do standing calf raises to strengthen your calf muscles and improve circulation. With both feet together, raise your calves by rising both feet up. Try to hold the position for 10 seconds, release, and repeat.
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- Desk pushups
Who says you can’t do a push-up at work? When your boss is not around, put both hands on your desk, walk your feet back to a 45-degree angle and do your push ups. Try to accomplish a dozen. Aside from strengthening the arms and core, it’s a subtle way to impress a cute coworker next to you and beat sedentary lifestyle.
- Book press
While waiting for the slow photocopier to finish printing, grab the heaviest book you can see, perhaps a dictionary or even a thick ream of paper. and hold it behind your head. Stand upright, extend your arms up and drop it back down by your nape. Try to repeat it over and over to tone your triceps.
- Shoulder blade squeeze
Worried of your hunched posture? Try shoulder blade squeezes, an easy yet effective exercise for the scapula and shoulder joints. While sitting on your chair, slowly move your shoulders backwards and squeeze your shoulder blades together for 10 seconds then release. Repeat the exercise three to five times.
- Shoulder shrug
Remember the “i have no idea” shoulder gesture you make when someone asks you “where have all your paycheck gone”? That, my friend, may help ease your work-induced shoulder and back pain. Simply raise both shoulders up toward the ears and try to hold it for 5 seconds. Then, relax for a while. Repeat it for 15 times. If you want some upgrades, try holding one paper ream in each hand and do your shoulder shrugs while standing.
- Secret butt clench
Your buttocks suffer a lot everyday as you get stuck in your seat from 9 to 5. That is why you have to do a secret exercise called butt clenching to tighten your glutes. While sitting, simply tense and squeeze your buttocks, aiming to raise yourself slightly while remaining seated. Hold the clench for 5 to 10 seconds and relax the muscles for another 5 seconds. Perform 2 sets of 30 reps each day.
- Fist pump
Flabby arms due to inactivity? It’s time to channel your inner Rocky Balboa and throw some punches in the air like a champ. The alternating fist punches can help tone your arms. Punch your fists in the air for 60 seconds or more – or until you realize your supervisor is right behind you.
Carmina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for North Shore Vein Clinic, a prominent group of vein specialists based in Sydney, Australia. Her articles mainly include practical tips on health, fitness, and beauty