One of the best excuse you can make to avoid going to the gym or to workout at your home is that you work all day at a desk job. After all, who wants to get up at the crack of dawn for a sweat session, and who has time to fit it in after a long and tiring workday is done? SERIOUSLY? Is that your best shot.
Well, as easy as it is to make excuses, the fact is that sitting all day is not too good for your health. Prolonged sitting has been linked to conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure as well as obesity. That’s why it’s so important to fit in fitness. So stop sitting and start moving.
Thankfully, there are several fun and creative ways to fit exercise into your day, even while sitting at your desk. Here are some ways to burn calories at work that don’t feel like a workout.
1. Sit on a Balance Ball Chair
Since you spend so much time sitting at your desk, why not turn your chair into a piece of exercise equipment? Invest in a balance ball chair, which offers lumbar support, or simply sit on an exercise ball for shorter periods of time.
Sitting on balance balls encourages better posture and improves your core strength and torso muscles. You can burn 4.1 times more calories per hour sitting on a balance ball rather than a standard office chair. Every little bit adds up!
2. Fidget While You Work
If you want to burn more calories at work, you need to unlearn what you learned in elementary school. It’s OK not to sit still! Fidgeting and constantly moving around are actually great calorie burners.
Lift your heels up and down while sitting, tap your fingers, twirl your pencil – little movements like this done throughout the day can burn extra calories without your even being aware of it. Another great fidgety exercise is to repeatedly squeeze and release your glutes; a great workout for the desk-bound.
3. Walk Whenever You Can
Walking is one of the best methods of exercise there is – it burns calories, is low-impact and everyone can do it. You just need to find more reasons to do it at work. Try having walking meetings to discuss business with your colleagues, walking briskly to and from appointments or bathroom breaks, and parking at the farthest end of the parking lot from your office.
Be sure to talk a stroll during your lunch break too. If you need to talk to a co-worker, walk to her desk instead of sending a text. You can strengthen relationships while strengthening your body!
4. Repurpose Office Supplies
If you want to fit in a strength-training session, the office is a great place to do it. Just think about all the heavy items that can be found in a typical office setting; you can use them in inventive ways to tone and strengthen your muscles.
Don’t be afraid to lift heavy boxes or use those air compressor accessories as a substitute for free weights. Use your imagination. Anything that’s easy to hold on to and that has enough heft to it can be used for biceps curls or triceps kickbacks.
5. Be a Wallflower
Here’s a really engaging exercise that will really burn your buns. Stand with your back against a wall and place your feet about a foot or two away from the wall. Slowly lower yourself to a sitting position and try to remain still for as long as you can.
This is a fun exercise to do with co-workers (after all, it can look a bit strange if you do it by yourself). Make a competition of it! Conversely, you can do a version of this at your office chair; go to sit down but hover just above your seat, just like you’re doing a squat. Try not to sit down until you can’t hold the position any longer.
6. Do Sets on Your Desk
There are desk sets (pens and paperweights – ho hum) … and then there are desk sets. Use your desk to do some push-ups and other exercises. Put your hands on the edge of your desk and walk your feet behind you until you are in a diagonal line.
Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the desk, then raise. Repeat as many times as you can. From this same position, you can also raise and lower your legs for a great gluteal exercise.
By doing these inventive and fun exercises throughout your workday, you can increase your calorie burn and decrease your bottom line. That’s time well spent.