The average American spends 7.5 hours at work each day. And for
most people, those 7.5 hours equal a lot of sitting with very little moving.
But incorporating movement and keeping active during your workday is very
important, says Kara Smith, special programs coordinator for the Loyola Center
for Fitness. "Taking a break from work for even a few minutes can help you feel
better and increase your energy level."
Exercise can help prevent aches and pains in the back, relieve tight
muscles, fight fatigue, and burn calories. Plan short walks into your day: If
you drink a lot of water (a healthy goal on its own), you’ll have to get up
several times throughout the day to walk to the restroom. Use your lunch break
for a quick walk around the building or around the block. Send documents to the
printer farthest from your desk so you add a few extra steps.
Then add in a few exercises at your desk. "If co-workers give you
a strange look, ask them to join you!" Smith suggests.
Here, a mini workout with five exercises from some of the nation’s
top fitness experts that you can do at your desk. No special equipment needed.
- Twists. This move
helps release tense muscles in your back. With your feet firmly planted on the
ground and legs engaged (slightly bent at the knee), stretch both arms out to
the side so you are in the shape of a "T." Reach your left arm back. Bring your
right hand to your heart, and gently twist your torso to the left. Repeat this
twist on the opposite side. Twist back and forth for 3 minutes. [from Sarah
Brave of Reflections Yoga in Times Square]
retraction. Stand upright and clasp your hands behind your head. Pull your
elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds and
then relax. Repeat for 10 reps. [from Adam Bornstein, editorial director at
Livestrong.com and co-author of the fitness bestseller The IMPACT! Body Plan and
The Men’s Health Diet.]
- Seated squat. Slowly sit
down towards your chair, then stand up quickly, just before making contact with
the chair. Repeat for 5 reps. [From Leah Britt, certified personal
trainer/nutritionist of Premier Fitness camp]
- Bench dips. Using your
chair or a sturdy table, place your hands on the edge of the chair (or table)
and bend your arms to slowly lower yourself about six inches lower than the
seat. Raise yourself by straightening your arms. Repeat for 10 reps. [From Leah
Britt, certified personal trainer/nutritionist of Premier Fitness camp]
While you’re on the phone or making a conference call, you can grab a dumbbell
or a resistance band and do bicep curls. (A full bottle of water will work in a
pinch.) Straighten your arms by your side and bring your hand (with the
dumbbell) to your shoulder. Keep your palms up. Repeat for 20 reps. [Leah
Release neck tension by sitting tall in your chair. Release your right shoulder
down. "You can even sit on your right hand," says Smith. Tilt your head so your
left ear is going towards your left shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds, and then
switch sides. Repeat three times on each side. [Kara Smith]
Written by: Kimberly Holland
This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.