Exercise at your desk

Corporate life requires us to sit at a desk all day, limiting our opportunities to exercise. Sitting down for the majority of your working day can cause long and short term health problems. Sitting for hours at time means you aren’t using your legs and glute muscles, which you need to be strong and stay stable on your feet and avoid injuries. Your hips flexors can also shorten, and your spine can degenerate prematurely. You are also likely to gain weight and are at risk of metabolic syndrome.

Small amounts of exercise throughout the day is more beneficial than one long session once per day. During the day, you can do some exercise without leaving your desk.

Stand Up to Work

Stand up desks have become popular in workplaces in recent years. One hour standing will burn 50 calories more than sitting. Just a few hours of standing every day will add up to 750 calories per year.

You can choose a flexible desk that can switch from standing to sitting during the day. In this way, your legs can rest when you’ve had enough standing. If you aren’t into standing, try replacing your office chair with an exercise ball. Your core muscles will be improved as you keep your balance on the ball.

Exercises at your Desk

Keep your body active during the day by doing a few exercises at your desk. Some of the exercises are so subtle that colleagues won't even know you are doing them. Others aren’t, but don’t let that stop you. Encourage your workmates to join you in a quick exercise session. If you want to get serious, you can all keep a yoga mat under your desk which you can roll out and find your zen.

Shoulder blade squeezes

Squeeze your shoulder blades as if you're holding a small object between them for 10 seconds before releasing and repeating.

Shoulder Shrugs

Raise your shoulders and hold for 5 seconds before releasing.

Chair Squats

Keep your arms out in front of you, lower yourself onto your chair before quickly standing again.

Tricep Desk Dips

Stand with your back to your desk and place both hands at shoulder width length around the desk edge. Bend your arms then straighten keeping tension on your triceps muscles.

Ab Squeezes

Keep a daily workout on your chair by taking a deep breath, tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for 5–10 seconds.

Leg Extensions

Sit in your chair, extend one leg to a horizontal position, hold for a few seconds before lowering back to the starting position.

Move around the office

Find reasons to leave your desk occasionally. Go and see a colleague at their desk rather than picking up the phone or sending an email. Take the stairs rather than the lift or escalator whenever possible.

Among work sessions, reward your productivity with a quick walk around the block to get your blood circulating and heart pumping.