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I can’t tell you how many neck, back, shoulder, and hip issues I hear about from people who are glued to their chair for hours on end. Follow these tips below for being more active during your workday.

Office ergonomics

A lot of people often try to reorganize or adjust their office in order to improve its ergonomics.  I have seen people convert their desk to a standing desk, ditch the chair for a stability ball, and even some space-ship style chairs promising to improve posture.  While some of these may help, these ergonomic swaps will never trump good, old fashion exercise.  I have even heard of things like the treadmill or bike desk, which, in my opinion, don’t truly affect your physical fitness.  Sitting on a bike is just that, sitting which still reinforces all the issues that comes along with sedentary behavior.   It would be far more beneficial to take a 20 - 30 minute power walk during your lunch break than walking at 1.1 mph for hours on end.

If changing your office ergonomics is not possible, there are plenty of other ways to improve your daily office environment.  Forming a walking group at lunch is a great way to increase your activity level.  Deliver messages in person rather than in email whenever possible.  Your point will be conveyed better, you’ll get a little exercise, and get a mental break from your cubicle.  Try standing up for phone calls lasting longer than a few minutes.  This will improve your blood flow, allow you to stretch, and may improve your concentration.  Lastly, the most common no brainers are to park your car further away from your office and ALWAYS take the stairs.

Desk-er-cize

If you are always on the phone, make a list of exercises you can do without losing your concentration.  Some simple shoulder rolls, ankle rotations, shoulder stretches, and chest stretches can all be done while holding that phone to your ear.  Ever been on hold for what seems like hours?  Do some basic exercises while you wait such as body weight squats, stationary lunges, desk pushups, or even tricep dips.

Find something that makes you want to exercise whether it is pictures of your exercises, inspirational quotes, or even hourly reminders to keep you motivated.  Set reminders on your phone or computer to inspire you to stay active or just get up and walk around the building every few hours.  Another tip is to stock your office with some exercise equipment such as resistance bands, a set of 10 pounds dumbbells, or even a 15 pound medicine ball.  With these few pieces of equipment a decent upper body, lower body, and even core routine could be created.  Watch a yoga video online and do segments of the video every hour over the course of the day.  You would be surprised how three minutes of yoga 10 times per day will keep your body loose, improve your mental clarity, and increase your work productivity.

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