How to Keep Moving in the Workplace
When you are stuck in the office all week mainly sitting at computer or in meetings, you can forget how sedentary your day is. Our bodies need to move often, and adding a few periods of exercise each week is not enough for a healthy body.
Epidemiologist Steven Blair, a professor of public health at the University of South Carolina, has spent 40 years investigating physical activity and health. He explains, “If you’re sitting, your muscles are not contracting, perhaps except to type. But the big muscles, like in your legs and back, are sitting there pretty quietly.”
When the major muscles aren’t moving, metabolism slows down. “We’re finding that people who sit more have less desirable levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides and even waist size”” he says. This can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and a number of health problems.*
So the body needs to move often and you need to find ways to add into your day simple movements even as you sit at the desk. A Fit Bit or similar tool which helps remind you to get off the chair is a great help, but what movement can you do?
Below we share a few ideas on how to keep moving in the workplace – your work mates will hardly notice!
- Seated Torso Twist
Good for: torso/back
Place your right hand over your left knee whilst looking over your left shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on other side.
- Seated Ankle Circles
Good for: ankles and calfs
While sitting, raise your right leg and draw small circles clockwise 20 times, then anti-clockwise 20 times. Repeat with left leg.
- Arm Curls
Good for: biceps
Hold a full water bottle and let your arms fall to your sides. Slowly bend them upwards. Repeat three sets of 12 reps each arm.
- Calf Raises
Good for: shoulders and legs
Using your desk for support, stand on tip toes and hold position for 15 seconds. Lower down and repeat for 2 mins.
- Upward Stretch
Good for: torso, back, shoulders and arms
A classic, but always works a charm, interlocking your fingers, reach with both arms to the ceiling, stretching out your back and arms. Continue until satisfied.