A significant portion of the health issues and disease that people experience today is due to inactive lifestyles. A lot of the blame can be placed on the types of jobs people are working now: desk jobs. Jobs that require you to be seated for hours at a time and involve very little walking or movement in general. This article will provide you with small things you can do while at your desk job to help you become more active daily. Every little bit adds up.
Buy a Grip Strengthener
For $10-15 you can buy a grip strengthener on amazon. While the point isn’t necessarily to develop a grip strength that will intimidate your boss when you shake hands, it will strengthen your hand, wrist, and forearm muscles. It’s a great way to expend some energy and you can even have competitions with your coworkers to see who can do the most squeezes in a row. Just remember to do both hands or you’ll end up looking like Popeye on one arm and a toothpick on the other.
Get a Stress Ball or Palm-sized Squishy Ball
I love miniature squishy footballs. I play with them at work all the time. They are absolutely addicting. They are also very cheap online or in just about any store where they sell kids toys. You can toss them around and catch them, squeeze them between your thumb and each of your four other fingers and find out which are weakest, toss them with coworkers, and simply use them as stress relief. They work. You will find yourself playing with them while working.
Desk Chair Squats
Your co-workers may give you stink eye, but just bet that you can do more squats and they’ll either have to compete or shut up. If you work in a small cubicle space, this is still a very easy exercise to perform. Simply slide your desk chair back about a foot. Now squat until you just touch the seat of your chair, and stand back up. Repeat this several times a day and do as many as you can comfortably. Strengthen those quads and glutes while you’re at work. Who doesn't want a better booty?
You’ve Heard it Before...Take the Stairs
Maybe you work on the 4th floor of a building. Take the stairs. If you work on the 10th floor of a building, take the stairs. If you are 60 floors up, take the elevator 10 floors and then finish the other 50 on the stairs. You are engaging your whole lower body when walking up stairs. You’ll burn far more calories taking the stairs then the maybe 5 calories you would burn on the elevator. It is also a great way to strengthen your lower body and to continuously pick your feet up. It’s a lost art in today’s society; picking one’s feet up.
Don’t Call Your Co-worker, Walk to Their Office
This is a great way to get more steps in. I’ve worked in a few different office jobs where everyone picks up the phone and calls another department for a simple question. Look, if it’s not an end-of-the-world situation, you can get out of your chair and walk to the person’s office and talk to them there. This is also a great hack for getting better known within your company. Face-to-face contact is much more pleasant. You get to kill two birds with one stone!
Body-weight Leg Extensions
Get some more work out of your quads. Those are the muscles on the top of your leg between your hip and your knee. You know them right? Well, they feel neglected. Do some leg extensions. Flex the muscle as you do it and you’ll feel it pretty quickly. This is also one you can do if you have just enough room under your desk to extend your legs.
Sit Upright in Your Chair
If you work in an office where they gave you very stiff and uncomfortable seating, this will do nothing but improve your experience. If you have a nice leather desk chair with the mesh backing, you’ll just have to sacrifice some of your comfort for your health. Sit upright in your chair. Not upright against the back of your chair, but simply upright with nothing but your core muscles holding you in the position. You’d be surprised how hard this may be at first. Don’t worry, it’ll get easier the more you do it and the more you get those core muscles working.