Workout At Work! Introducing Deskercise…
One of the many excuses people have for not going to the gym alongside they ‘don’t have enough time’ or ‘would rather sit in front of Eastenders with a Chinese’ is that they’re too tired to go after work. Well there’s something you can do about that. The emergence of Deskercise (Yes, it’s actually a thing now) is taking the fitness world and offices by storm. So if you’re looking across to Steve in accounting and he’s doing push ups off his desk, then follow suit. He’s not as mental as he looks and here’s why…
The initial thought of doing exercises at your desk may be absurd, but before you completely disregard the idea think about the many pros of doing such a thing. By incorporating deskercise whilst at work you can improve a poor posture, reduce back pain, prevent obesity, prevent leg cramps and reduce tense muscles. All of these are caused by sitting at your desk for too long, so to prevent such things then read the following guide on the importance of exercising at your desk.
When you exercise at your desk, you reduce times in between gym sessions so your body isn’t stagnating and is consistently burning calories. Certain deskercises can also improve your conditioning and stamina when performed on a regular basis. They’re also great for fat burning and muscle tone which is a bonus when you’re at work.
Less Obvious Deskercices
For the self-conscious or the less brave, here are some simple exercises you can do discreetly at your desk without having anyone in the office know.
- The Daydream – Why this is called the ‘daydream’ is anyone’s guess. However, it’s something that can be done without drawing any attention to yourself. Stretch your arm behind your head and reach for your opposing shoulder blade. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch to the other arm. This will loosen up muscles in the back and stretch out the shoulder joints.
- The Twinkle Toe – Another great one as you’re concealed by your desk. Speedily tap your toes on the floor under your desk. Be sure to be sitting up straight and position your legs at a 90 degree angle. Tap those toes for 30 seconds and you’ll feel the strain in your calves and tibialis. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat another 2 times. You can imagine this isn’t too dissimilar to what Michael Flatley would be like if he had a desk job.
- Seated Leg Raiser – Whilst seated, stretch out both legs in front of you and hold for 20 seconds before lowering your legs. Don’t let them touch the floor yet! Rest for 20 seconds and then repeat 2 more times. This relieves aching and soreness from around the quads that’s been accumulated for sitting for so long.
More Obvious Deskercises
For those who are braver and don’t mind looking a bit loopy in the office, or even if you want to show off (hey, no judgment) then these desk exercises are the ones that will show your whole department that you’re a fitness fan.
- Desk Squat – Squatting is the foundation of every workout. It works so many muscles which makes this exercise bigger than One Direction or a ‘cheeky’ Nandos. Making sure your chair is out of the way, bend your knees, keep that back straight and lower yourself towards the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 4-6 times. If you’re struggling for form because you normally hold something while squatting, then make use of that pen pot staring at you!
- The Office Genie – For the limber office worker, this stretches out all leg muscles and relieves soreness in the back. It also works the arms so it’s great. While seated, cross your legs as if you were back at school. Then with both arms, lift yourself off of your chair so you’re almost floating. Keep your balance and hold this for 20 seconds…or until your boss is standing behind you.
- The Football Bin – No, this isn’t where you start kicking the office bin around the room. But remember those football training drills as a kid where you had to lift up alternating legs and tap your toes on a stationary ball? If you do, then you’ll know where I’m going with this. If not, then just do this on the office bin in the corner. You’ll look slightly mental, but you’ll build up a sweat by doing this for 30 seconds per set. Perform this for 3 sets. To really work the glutes, get those knees up high.
For The Really Dedicated
Feeling prepared and motivated? Great! There’s small and inexpensive fitness equipment you can bring into the office so you can perform a great workout without stepping foot in a gym.
- Yoga Ball £6.99 – Something that’s totally not unheard of is people substituting their standard office chair for a yoga ball. The logic is simple: by using a yoga ball to sit on all day you’re stabilising yourself which activates core muscles. So simply sitting on a Yoga Ball will work your legs, glutes, core and promotes a healthy posture. It’s a simple but effective way to maintain health at work.
- Wobble Board/Cushion £6.99 – People familiar with this blog will know what an advocate I am for the Wobble Board. They’re innovative, cheap and practical. But don’t just wait until home time to use one. Take one to work! Simple things such as balancing on one leg while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil on your lunch will tone and shape your core as your body works to stabilise itself (for heaven’s sake don’t pour the kettle still standing on one though!). Need to copy a document 500 times? Stand on a wobble board while you wait. It’s an effective way to spend time usually wasted standing around.
- Twist Board £7.99 – The twist board isn’t just a cool way to replicate what it was like to dance in 1963. It’s a great tool to work the core and train those abs. Again, rather than just standing around waiting for something, that time can be better spent using a twist board to exercise your core. Just spend 10 minutes on your lunch with your twist board. Start by standing on the twist board in almost a squat position with your knees bent. From here twist your waist from left to right brining your arms in front of you. This is also great for back ache as it stretches out the muscles in your back and relieves stress on your spine.
- Resistance Bands £0.99 – These are great because you can be as discreet as you like with them. While sat at your desk you can place them around your ankles or knees (depending on what you want to strengthen) and push your legs apart for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat another 2 times to achieve toned legs whilst slogging away on an excel spreadsheet.
- Foam Yoga Roller £9.99 – If you’re feeling stiff and cramped for sitting in the same position for so long then this is the ideal tool for you. Small enough to keep under your desk, it can be used in a variety of ways to massage muscles ranging from the legs to the back. By placing it against a wall in your office, you can then place it between your shoulder blades and gently roll from side to side on it to work out any kinks and aches that accumulated in your back and neck.
9 hours at work (or longer for you workhorses) is a long time to be spent stationary without any physical exertion. By just performing a few of these on a daily basis will work wonders for your health and fitness.
The JLL Wobble Board, JLL Wobble Cushion, JLL Twist Board, JLL Resistance Band, JLL Foam Yoga Roller and JLL Yoga Ball can all be purchased from www.jllfitness.co.uk or alternatively from our eBay and Amazon stores.
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