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The Workplace Workout

Guest Author | Official Space

The Workplace Workout

Working in an office needn’t be your excuse for not taking regular exercise – there are lots of opportunities for you to get active even at your desk!

Leading a sedentary lifestyle can be very damaging to your health, and those that work in offices throughout the week are likely to find that they haven’t the time or the motivation to get up and go once they return home.

As Women’s Health Magazine explains, ‘sitting disease’ can lead to a number of health issues, most notably heart disease and obesity. The article includes research from the Institute for Medicine and Public Health in the USA, which came up with some shocking results. It was found that, following a poll of almost 6,500 Americans, most people spend an average of 56 hours a week sitting down.

Working in an office needn’t be your excuse for not taking regular exercise though. There are still lots of opportunities for you to get active – even while sitting at your desk!

If you’ve been doing your best to unchain yourself from your computer as of late, consider trying out some of these office exercises today:

Stretches

You should always stretch before you do any exercises. This is because your muscles won’t have enough flexibility to allow you to go straight into exercise, so you need to warm them up first, so to speak.

Stretching can also help you to loosen your muscles and stop cramp from setting in. A lot of people that work in offices notice that they get this kind of pain. The NHS has actually discovered that back pain from strained muscles and ligaments is one of the biggest causes for illness in the UK, with over 7.6 million working days lost in 2010 and 2011 due to it.

Complete the following stretches to warm up your muscles:

- Neck

Slowly bend your head forwards, backwards and side to side. Don’t roll your head all the way around as this could damage your neck joints.

- Shoulders

Roll your shoulders to relieve tension built up in this area.

- Wrists

Rotate your wrists gently. Over a long period of time, typing on a computer keyboard can eventually lead to carpal tunnel syndrome in some cases.

- Calves

You can do this exercise while sitting. Simply sit with your feet flat on the floor and slowly lift your heels until you are resting on the balls of your feet. Complete this action in reverse to set your heels back on the floor. Do this stretching technique until you feel tired, allow yourself to rest for 10 minutes, and then begin again.

You’ll now be ready to move onto some of the following exercises:

- The Chair Squat

This exercise can help to tone your abdomen, thighs and bum, and it’s really easy to do.

You can use your normal office chair for the exercise.

o Place your chair behind you.

o Stand in front of it with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

o Put your arms out in front of you to help with your balance.

o Contract your abdominal muscles and hold them in that position while you slowly bend your knees further – it should look as though you’re about to sit down.

o Before you can touch the chair, stand up straight.

o Repeat this process around ten times and complete about three times a day.

- The Desk Press

It probably won’t be possible to get away with doing press-ups in the office, so this exercise can make a nice go-between.

o Clear a space on your desk and stand in front of it.

o Lean forwards and place your hands flat on your desk, keep your elbows at a 90° angle.

o Stretch one leg out behind you so that your weight is on the ball of your foot.

o Bend the other leg slightly so that your foot is flat on the floor.

o While contracting your abdominal muscles, push down on the table to raise your upper body. Brace yourself with your legs.

o Slowly lower yourself into the same position.

o Repeat this process around five times and complete about three times a day.

- The Water Bottle Bicep Curl

Bicep curls can help you to strengthen your bicep muscles. You can easily complete this exercise by filling a large bottle with water.

o Sit up straight in your chair.

o Hold your water bottle in one hand, with your forearm facing upwards.

o Lift the water bottle up until it is close to your chest.

o Lower your arm.

o Repeat this process around five times on each arm and complete about three times a day.

These simple exercises can help you to get toned muscles without even having to leave your office. However, you might also find that employing other easy exercise techniques, such as getting off the bus one stop early, going for walks during your lunch break and bicycling into work can help you to lose weight as well. Always consult your doctor before partaking in any exercise.

This article was written by Official Space, a website offering office space in Central London and throughout the rest of the UK.

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