5 Easy Workout Moves You Can Do at Your Desk
Beat “sitting disease” and boost your health by unchaining yourself from your chair
Are you deskbound all day? You might be putting your health at risk. Sitting for more than four hours at a time can increase your chances of heart failure, diabetes and kidney disease — even if you eat healthy and exercise during non-work hours.
“Sitting is the new smoking,” says Nicole Glor, fitness expert and creator of NikkiFitness workout DVDs. “Studies show that being sedentary all day is so unhealthy that you’re actually better off working out at the office several times a day rather than sitting for eight hours and then hitting the gym after work.”
If pressing send on your computer keyboard and the occasional walk to the bathroom sums up your physical activity most days at work, then it’s time to get moving more. Try incorporating any or all of these moves outlined below into your workday. All you need is motivation, a desk, chair, resistance band and the willpower to ignore awkward glances from co-workers. Set a timer on your phone or computer calendar to remind you to move. For any of the exercises that involve an office chair, make sure to lock the wheels first and, if possible, push the chair against a wall for additional support.
NikkiFitness’ Easy Office Workout
1. Do an hourly chair squat sesh. Shake things up at the top of every hour by doing chair squats. Aim for 25 squats.
Here’s how: Start in a sitting position, place your hands on your thighs, squeeze your glutes and stand up. Pause, then lower down to just above the chair, and pop right back up.
2. Use your desk for push-ups. On the half hour, drop down on your desk and give yourself 25!
Here’s how: Stand facing your desk with your arms wide like goal posts. With arms in the goal-post position grasp the desk, placing your body in a diagonal, head shoulders, hips and heels aligned. With your abs tight, push away from the desk until arms straighten.
3. Work your triceps. After every bathroom break, do 25 triceps chair dips.
Here’s how: Seated in a chair, grasp the front edge of the chair, slowly walk your feet out so that your tush is hanging off the seat, legs are straight out in front of you, and you’re balancing on your heels. Slowly begin to lower your body until your elbows bend at a 90-degree angle. Push back up and fully straighten your arms to complete one rep.
4. Curl your biceps while on conference calls. Liven up any conference call by doing 25 biceps curls using a resistance band.
Here’s how: Stand up or sit down, and put the middle of the band under your feet. Wrap the ends around your hands so that you have enough resistance to make the reps feel challenging. Lower the arms to straight with your palms facing forward. Then bend your elbows and curl your hands to your shoulders. Lower all the way to complete one rep.
5. Take a break with some reverse flies. If you’re feeling cooped up and low on energy, 25 reverse flies with an exercise band is just the ticket. “Do these when you arrive at work, leave and come back from your lunch break and before you head out at the end of the day,” suggests Glor.
Here’s how: Stand up or sit at your desk. Place the middle of the band under both feet. Hinge from the hips so that you’re bent at 90 degrees with a flat back. Wrap the band around your hands and lower your hands toward the sides of your legs, palms facing the center line of your body. With palms facing down, arms straight, lift your arms out to the side until they’re parallel with the floor. Lower your arms back towards legs for one rep. “This exercise works your upper back and is critical for fixing the hunched posture of sitting over a desk and computer all day,” says Glor.