Long hours spent sitting at a desk are bad for the body and mind. It might not be possible to avoid extended periods in front of a screen – but there are simple steps you can take to stay fit and healthy at work.
Discount on Planet Fitness gym membership at The Workspace
Fitting routine trips to the gym into your week is excellent for your physical health. It’s also great for relieving work-related stress.
All members of The Workspace are eligible for discounted gym membership rates at Planet Fitness.
Head to a gym during lunch breaks or en route to or from work. This is an easy, structured way to make a significant improvement to your health.
Start slow but keep it up. You’ll likely be amazed at how quickly your fitness and energy levels grow.
Relieve muscle tension with in-office stretches
Moving around in your office chair and stretch frequently. This releases tension and relaxes the muscles, especially in the neck, shoulders and lower back.
When you have a spare minute or two in the day, try some simple stretches that are easy to do at your desk.
Office stretches for the neck
While seated, extend both arms towards the ceiling as far as you can. Tilt your head up, drop your neck, and arch your lower back. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Drop the arms, and rest the neck and head. Repeat four to five times.
Office stretches for the shoulders
Sit with a straight back and tucked in chin. Roll the shoulders forwards, back, and down, in a circular motion. Repeat 10 times, and then reverse the action.
Office stretches for the lower back
Sit on the edge of the chair, spread the knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Bend your neck until your chin is touching your chest, and slowly lower your upper body between your legs.
Allow your arms to hang loosely between your legs, and hold the position for 5 seconds. Raise your body back to a seated position, and repeat five to six times.
Integrate exercise into your work day
Small amounts of exercise add up and do make a difference. The more ways you find to incorporate movement in your day, the better.
Some simple but sensible suggestions for staying fit and healthy at work:
- if possible, cycle, jog or walk to work
- park a distance away from the office (provided there’s a safe option)
- whenever there’s an opportunity to take the stairs, go for it
- position items like stationary, a printer and even your phone away from your desk so you have to get up to fetch them
- stand up and stretch, often
- head out for a short walk during 10 or 15-minute breaks
- stretch your muscles and move around in your chair.
Benefit from quick office workouts
Even if you can’t make it to a gym, you can fit some inconspicuous exercises in at the office. Many of these involve using your own body weight to strengthen the biceps, triceps, quads and glutes.
Consider these two examples of exercises you can do in the office:
Whenever you get up, or sit back down in your chair, stop the motion when you are about three centimetres away from the seat. Hold the position for about 10 seconds.
You’ll be amazed at how effectively this simple exercise can strengthen the legs and glutes.
Stand about 30 centimetres away from a wall, with your feet-shoulder width apart. Place both palms flat on the wall at shoulder height.
Bend your elbows, and keep your legs and back straight. Lean towards the wall as far as you can, and hold the position for a couple of seconds. Next, raise your body away from the wall, into a standing position. Repeat the exercise 15 to 20 times.
Office workout guides
Dozens of exercises are suitable for the office, and several office workout guides are available online. For example, try one of these guides to improve your fitness at work:
- 8 Exercises You Can do At Your Desk
- The Ultimate 10-Minute Office Workout
- 9 Exercises You Can Do in Your Office
Look after the basics
Along with moving as much as possible during the work day, try these simple tricks for staying healthy at work – from reconfiguring your workstation to eating and drinking sensibly, resting your eyes and taking breaks to rest and socialise.
Staying fit and healthy at The Workspace
At The Workspace, our members enjoy discounted gym memberships; comfortably furnished relaxation areas; and easy access to kitchen facilities, for preparing healthy meals and drinks.