As more people spend most of their working life sitting in offices and going through long periods of inactivity, people face greater health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. The government in the UK warns that 6 out of every 10 people are dealing with obesity or are overweight. They predict that by the year 2050 rolls around, this could balloon to 9 out of 10. The US faces a similar problem, and the Surgeon General advices that people should get at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday. Unfortunately, not everyone squeezes in 30 minutes.
Studies show that even if a person exercises, they are still at a risk for heart disease if they are inactive for long periods at work. Finding ways to break up these periods of inactivity are becoming more important on a day-to-day basis.
Stand Often: Instead of sitting and talking on the phone for long periods, you can stand while they are actually talking on the phone. As part of a health campaign in the UK, the government recommends that people should stand up at least once every30-40 minutes.
Commuting: For those that are able, cycling to work is a great way to get exercise. It helps to build stamina and endurance all at once. If cycling is not possible, try walking when possible. If you take a bus or subway to work, get off at an earlier stop and walk the rest of the way.
Walk Instead of Snacking: Even though it’s easy to head to the water cooler or break room to snack on food and drink coffee, sometimes going out for fresh air is a healthier alternative. At the same time, it can help relieve stress.
Use the Stairs: As convenient taking the elevator is, taking the stairs can help you get your daily amount of exercise. If you work on one of the top floors, try beginning with walking at least a couple floors.
Sitting On an Exercise Ball: Exercise balls provide good support and help build balance and flexibility. While sitting, you can sneak in a couple squats during the day.
Get Bands and Cord: Getting exercise bands and cords around on your desk can help remind you to sneak in some exercise. They provide some resistance to the muscles and are not too strenuous.
Getting Your Heartbeat Going: When you find space, try running in the same space for 30-60 seconds in order to get your heartbeat going. You can also jump up and down like you would if you had a jump rope. You can also switch from jumping with both feet, to either with your left or right.
Strengthening Muscles: While sitting in a chair, you can do leg lifts to build up the muscles in your legs. Try putting your arms on the side of your chair, and then lift up your body a couple times.
Stretching: Simply put arms over your head and start to stretch for the ceiling. This can be done for a few seconds. One-way to stretch and relieve tension is to lift up your shoulders and scrunch them. Then drop them and let them relax.
Office Exercises for a Sedentary Life: Risks of Inactivity
Office Exercises for a Sedentary Life: Mayo Clinic’s Suggestions
Office Exercises for a Sedentary Life: Breath, Strengthen, and Stretch