Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking?

We get up, walk a little bit to get ready for work, sit in the car, sit in our office, and sit on the couch when we get home.

All of that sitting is taking a toll on your health. You’re less likely to lose weight and you could reduce your life span.

Even if you work out every day, all of that sitting isn’t going to be negated by your workout. The key is to keep moving throughout the day.

Read on to find out the top office fitness tips to keep your body moving throughout the day.

Stretch at Your Desk 

When you’re sitting at your desk, your hips get tight, your shoulders tend to roll forward and upward. That can cause, muscle imbalances, tension in your low back and in your shoulders. Here are some stretches you can do at your desk to counteract that.

1. Side Neck StretchSit up tall and drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder (you don’t have to touch it!) and hold for a few seconds and repeat for the left side.

2. Reach for the Stars
Interlace your fingers and reach up towards the sky, as high as you can … keeping your palms facing up towards the ceiling.

3. Look Back
Turn your head the left and try and look over your shoulder and hold for a few seconds … repeat on the right.

4. Chin Tuck
Tuck your chin (Make a double chin, I know it’s not attractive but it’s a great exercise!) and relax. Repeat for 10-15 reps for 3 set per day.

5. Shrugs
Raise both shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat a few times for good measure.

6. Chest Opener
Bring your hands behind your back, press your palms together, sit up tall and hold for 5–10 seconds.

7. Seated Toy Soldier
Sit up tall and extend your right arm all the way up towards the ceiling. Straighten your left leg out and raise it up as you bring your right arm down and try to touch your left foot. Do 8–10 on each side.

8. Knee Hugger
With a bent knee, lift your right leg up and grab it with your arms and pull it in as close to your chest as you can. Hold for 5–10 seconds and make sure and do it on the left side, too.

9. Reach and Bend
Extend your right arm over your head and reach out as far as you can to the left and gently bend over. Hold for a few seconds and do it the other way.

10. Knee Press
This one stretches out the glutes. With your right ankle on your left knee, gently press against the right knee a few times. Of course, after you’re done with the right side, be sure and give the left side some love, too.

Exercise At Your Desk

Stretching is fantastic, and it’s definitely something you should be including in your office fitness plan, but we also want to activate muscles and get your blood flowing. 

1. Walk/Jog/Run in Place

30–45 seconds. 3–5 times. This one is as simple as it sounds. Stand up from your chair and get to it. Anyone can do this one, you are in control of the intensity based on the pace you choose. Want an even bigger challenge? Bring your knees up to waist level.

2. Push-Ups

Now, before you panic at the thought of getting on the floor in your office … don’t! Remember, you are saving your life! Plus, there are options besides the floor. The modifications are to do them on the wall or on the edge of your desk. If you are going to do them against the wall though, make sure it’s not a cubicle wall or you could end up on your co-worker’s desk. 10 reps. 3 times.

3. Squats

From your chair, stand up, sit back down and repeat 10 more times. Simple!

4. Tricep Dips

Tricep dips can be done pretty much anywhere. Use your desk or your chair if it doesn’t have wheels on it. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on that desk or chair, then move your butt off the front with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.

5. Pretend Jump Rope

Hop on both feet at once, or alternate. Increase the intensity by adding the arm movements you would do if you had a rope.

6. Calf Raises

Stand up behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Do 3 sets of 10.

7. Glute Squeeze

This is an isometric move. Squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and hold for 10–30 seconds.

8. Shoulder Press

Look around the office and find an old phone book or a ream of paper, something that weighs a few pounds. Hold it at shoulder height and then raise it all the way overhead. 10 reps. 3 times. 

9. Wall Sit

Another great isometric move. Stand with your back against the wall and slowly lower yourself into a seated position and hold for 10–30 seconds at a time.

10. Lunge

You can keep this move stationary and do it at your desk, or you could go all out and lunge down the hall to the printer and back. With one leg in front of the other, gently lower the knee of your back leg down towards the ground. Like you were going to propose to a co-worker. 10 times on each leg.

Extra Credit

For those of you who are really ambitious, here are some extra tips that will really help you get closer to your goals!

1. Park farther away

There is something strangely gratifying about the ability to get the nearest parking spot to the entrance, but parking at the edge of the lot will help you get a lot of extra steps in your day. 

2. Take the stairs

Don’t like making small talk on the elevator? Take the stairs instead. The stairs are a great way to increase your heart rate and tone up those legs.

3. Do it yourself

Having an assistant may be a perk of your job, but if you got your own coffee and walked over to the copier more often you would be spending less time sitting.

4. Stand up

If you have to be on the phone a lot, what better time to stand up and do some stretches. Seriously, go ahead, the other person can’t see you!

5 T.ake a walk break

Schedule 10–15 minutes a day to just walk. See how many steps you can get on your fitness tracker. If it’s nice outside, go get some fresh air. Put it on your calendar to make sure it happens. Better yet, find someone to go with you and hold each other accountable.

6. Walk and talk

Why not have a walking meeting next time instead of sitting in a cold conference room at a table with stale donuts? And because exercise improves brain function, you may come up with some of your best ideas!

7. Commute differently

If you live in a city and rely on public transportation, try getting off the train or the bus a stop or two away from your usual stop and get some extra steps in. If you live close enough to work, skip the bus and hop on your bike or lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement.

Office Fitness Made Easy

With our largely sedentary lifestyles, it can be hard getting any kind of movement in during the day. With these office fitness exercises, it is possible to get your body moving and get the blood flowing.

You can also reach your weight loss goals faster and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Are you ready to get on track with a healthy lifestyle? Contact us today and schedule an appointment. 

- Elite Spine and Health Center
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