Work-related health issues are often attributed to overly physical or dangerous professions, such as construction and law enforcement jobs. Even if they are more demanding and a single slip could mean serious consequences, in many ways these workers have less to worry about than office workers.
Yes, you heard right. While an average office worker doesn’t have to lift heavy loads or get in the harm’s way to prevent a robbery, they face an array of different, more subtle killers.
Sedentary behavior is the most obvious one. Jobs that keep you confined to your chair eight hours a day, five days a week (and sometimes even more), paired with a bad diet, lack of exercise and bad posture spell serious health problems, the ones that haunt you for a lifetime.
And while some office workers hit the gym or look for a healthy diet and exercising plan from experts like Fix Body Group, others sit during their commute and spend the rest of the day sitting by the TV or gaming console. They don’t care much for their lack of exercise and abundance of bad habits until it’s too late.
The recommended amount of moderate physical activity is 30 minutes a day, five days a week. For a more demanding exercise regime, the suggested amount drops down to 20 minutes of vigorous workout at least three times a week. However, a survey conducted by the CDC found that 50% of adult Americans don’t follow these guidelines.
Another huge issue office workers face is workplace stress. A study conducted by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that 25% of workers find their job is their number one source of stress. On the other hand, 40% of the surveyed workers claim that their job is very or extreme stressful. Stress is often associated with conditions such as depression, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular disease and other major issues.
Is There a Cure?
There is! Exercise can help manage stress and has numerous other physical benefits such as improving concentration and alertness and overall cognitive functions. Exercise produces endorphins, our body’s natural painkillers, which help battle both stress and exhaustion.
Even five minutes of exercise a day can have a positive impact on your health. However, many find it impossible to find the time, especially at work. Others list limited space and being uncomfortable doing so in front of their colleagues. But not all offices have an office gym, and your desk is your only option.
But there are some exercises that can help you fight these limitations. And while they are not nearly as efficient as a personalized training regime, office exercises can complement them and make you feel better at work.
Easy Office Exercises
The seven exercises we’ve compiled are designed to fit into any office, as they are neither time nor space consuming. You can combine them into a single workout circuit or scatter them across the day whenever you have the time.
If you are planning to combine them into a single workout make sure to warm up first. In this case, even a simple walk around the office would do.
If your office has an access to a staircase, stair climbing is the most obvious yet highly useful cardio exercise. Set the timer to five or ten minutes, or take as much time as you can grab, and start climbing up and down. If you want to take it up a notch, run up and down or take two stairs at a time.
Even if you don’t have enough space on the floor for regular pushups, you can still add desk pushups to your office workout routine. Place your hands on the desk and walk away from the desk. When you are at a 45-degree angle start pushing yourself towards and away from the desk.
Sit on your chair and cross your legs, so that your feet are at rest under your ankles. With your hands on the armrests lift yourself a few inches of the chair. Hold that position for 10 to 20 seconds, rest and repeat five times.
Stand against a wall and slide your back down while bending your knees. When your thighs are parallel with the floor stop and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.
Recommended by the Military, this exercise is effective at boosting your strength. Sit on your chair and put your hands by your thighs. Move forward until your bum is just off the chair. Bend your arms and lower yourself around six inches below the chair. Rise back up by strengthening your arms. Repeat 10 times.
This exercise can help easily build up lower body strength. Make sure to get the form right in order to avoid knee damage. There are a lot of tutorials on how to properly perform a squat. Several sets of 10 squats will help you feel better and stronger in your lower body area, which is especially important for people who sit all day and rarely use their legs.
If you are worried about your colleagues jumping to conclusions, this exercise can be performed covertly. Exited one leg and hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. If you need an extra challenge, make small circles with your foot while your leg is in the air.
Written by Michelle Thompson at Fix Body Group