What is this workout you speak of?
Between an 8-to-5 job and technology that makes bringing work home possible, it’s getting harder and harder for people to find time to work out during the workday. It seems the terms “work out” and “exercise” are becoming obsolete vernacular in some offices. This can be detrimental to some because exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight, as well as managing stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, almost any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever, which is absolutely needed in today’s fast-paced society.
Some companies are committed to providing their employees with resources in the office because of this. For example, at many of Google’s offices, there are on-site fitness centers, as well as more than 230 exercise classes offered each week. PepsiCo provides an ongoing wellness program for employees and their families that includes routine medical care programs at work sites, education programs on health and fitness and on-site fitness centers and exercise programs. And, for those who work at Apple headquarters, there is a full-services fitness center, basketball gym and recreation room.
Although everyone isn’t lucky enough to enjoy these daily perks offered at Fortune 500 companies, there are ways to incorporate a healthy amount of fitness in the average workday. There are few small businesses out there that have exercise incentives, even if it’s not quite a state-of-the-art fitness gym. If yours is not one of these, it may be time to bring up this issue to the boss. Research shows that devoting time for physical activity can lead to higher productivity, according to Science Daily.
At Obsidian, we are allowed two and a half hours a week for exercising, which evens out to 30 minutes a day. This may not seem like much, but combined with an hour for lunch or leaving the office 30 minutes early to catch the 5:30 p.m. class at the gym, it can make all the difference.
Still, if you’re company hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon of providing resources for employee fitness, here’s a few in-office exercises that can help increase your level of physical activity and decrease your level of stress.
- The Pre-Sit Stretch: Before heading into a long meeting or finishing a big project at your desk, take a few minutes to stretch. First, loosen up your neck and shoulders by rolling your shoulders forward and backward in a circular motion. Do this 20 times in each direction. Next, stand with your back against a wall and try to touch your toes without bending your knees to stretch your hamstrings. Do this for 45 seconds. Lastly, face a wall and lean your toe up against it to stretch your calves. (Ladies, I recommend taking off heels before this.) Then place your palms on the wall and lean into it. Do this for 30 seconds on each calf, and then repeat.
- The Glute Workout While You Wait: Here’s something you can do while waiting on a copy, fax, scan or print job. Stand at the machine and place your hands on the top of it. Then bend your knee and raise one of your heels up to your buttocks. Do this 15 times on each side, and then repeat. Also, you can turn this into a calf raise by lifting one leg up and with the other leg, raise your heel up and down.
- The Lower Body Pep-up: This is simply lunges and squats. If you want to be secretive, you can do stationary lungs and squats in the comfort of your own office or cubicle. But if it’s appropriate, you could do walking lungs down the hallway of your office. Maybe you’ll even motivate a co-worker to join in? Do 25 lungs on each side and 25 squats.
- The Anti-Push–Up Chair Dip: If you’re looking for an arm workout, here’s an alternative to having to do a push–up on the office floor. Pull your chair out slightly from your desk and sit at the edge of it (use a chair preferable one without wheels) and place your hands on the edge of your seat with fingers pointing out. Slowly lift off your seat and lower your body to the floor by bending your elbows then push yourself back up. Do 15, and then repeat.
And ta-da, you have now increased your productivity. Feel free to comment to let me know what you think about this workout or let me know your own personal in-office work out!