Between sitting on your arse all day and snacking like you haven’t seen food in a year, the life of an office worker is sedentary and sugar-filled, to say the least.
Even if you’re a lazy SOB, sitting down all day can be a real struggle, as well as detrimental to your health. From increased risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and back pain to higher stress levels and poor blood flow, staying fit and healthy when you work in front of a computer is a must!
Finding the time to workout of an evening, however, is usually the last thing on your mind when you’re so mentally drained you have the intellectual capacity of a man-eating zombie. Which is exactly why keeping active during your 9 to 5 is so important.
Some of our tips will seem like no-brainers, while others might surprise you. Either way, it’s time to stop ignoring the warnings and make your health a priority, even if it means multi-tasking.
Stretch it out
Once an hour, stand up and stretch. Pull out a few very basic yoga moves or just kick your legs around like a toddler for a few minutes, it really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something.
Remaining stagnant for long periods of time inhibits blood flow and can cause your muscles to lose their elasticity. Keeping yourself stretched and on the ball will keep your mind more active and prevent your muscles from aching due to lack of use.
It’s lunchtime. You could unwrap your packed lunch and pull Facebook up on your computer, or you could grab you sandwich and head outside. Both are appealing, but the latter is more beneficial.
Go for a walk, even if you have nowhere in particular to go. You might stretch your legs for 10 or 20 minutes, it doesn’t really matter, just aim to take a nice brisk walk to get your blood pumping like a human being again.
If your office building has stairs, walk or jog up them a couple of times. My building has four flights of stairs and I love getting out and rushing up and down them a few times. Your cheeks will get a nice flush, your heart will race and you will feel great!
Another option is to squeeze in a quick workout. If you have hour-long breaks, an on-site or nearby gym, or a park near your office, use your break to do a quick HIIT workout.
Whether it’s hard and fast sprints in the park or burpees and skipping in the gym, an hour is more than enough time to workout, eat, and make yourself presentable again. Don’t have 20-minutes to spare? Do it for ten, something is better than nothing.
Use your feet
The office I work in is a fairly standard, mediocre-style office with an open-plan layout, a few corner offices and a lot of cubicles. My editor only sits a few metres away from me, except when I need to ask her something, I often find myself picking up the phone and calling her. Why? Because it’s easy and requires little effort on my behalf.
This simple, yet lazy action is one most office workers will be familiar with, and is exactly why our health will inevitably get flushed down the crapper.
For the love of God, just get up and walk over to your peer’s desk. Instead of calling out for an intern to do your filing or pick up your stuff from the printers, do it yourself. You should get up at least once an hour and move around, even if you’re only walking a couple of metres.
Work your muscles
Did you know you can work at toning your butt, legs or even your abs without moving from your chair? Well, you can!
Clench your butt cheeks, hold for five-seconds and then repeat. Do this as many times as you can at regular intervals, and, when combined with a decent diet and some after-hours exercise, you will be on your way to developing a Beyonce-style be-hind in no time, or at least your personal equivalent of Queen B’s killer arse.
Stretch your right leg out straight under your desk. Move your leg in a circular, clockwise motion for as long as you can. Then repeat with your left. Continue this as much as you can throughout the day.
Or for defined abs, clench your abdominal muscles, hold for five-seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
On their own these mini muscle workers won’t get you in shape, however, they will help energise you and keep your generally inactive muscle groups active while you work. Mix them with a good after-hours regime and you’ll be oozing confidence and good health in no time!