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The Office Worker’s Workout:

“Hustle for that muscle” –Unknown


Does your job involve sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, sitting in meetings for hours on end, and you can never seem to get past that 3:00PM slump where all you can think about is energy drinks, when you can go back to sleep, or any other possible solution to try and stay awake for just a few hours more???

I have a solution for you! Regular exercise is obviously essential for a healthy life, but motivating those stuck at work all day can be rough. It is time to incorporate some pep in your step (exercise) throughout your day rather than going to the vending machine and grabbing another energy drink.

In the article “The Office Worker’s Workout” by Ryan Halvorson, he explains how exercise throughout the day can improve job performance. He explains that some people fear that they will not be able to get their work out in if they incorporate exercise in their daily workday, but that is so beyond the truth. There are studies that Halvorson researched where exercising helped the job performance of employees and improved their mood throughout the day. Also, the increase of exercise in employees daily lives decreased depression and job burnouts. You must understand how this feels! “I have to sit at this chair every day until retirement??” NO….YOU DO NOT! Get up and move!! Creativity with presentations, meetings, or any other duty on the job increases after taking just a 15 minute stroll!! Try this out for a week and I promise you will understand and will not regret it. “Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity” (Halvorson). Here are some creative WORKPLACE WORKOUTS for you to try while on a break at work. I promise, these workouts will be a million times better than going to the vending machine, losing another dollar on a chemical infested energy drink. Try it out!

Full-Body Strength

Perform anywhere from 5 (beginner) to 15 (experienced) repetitions of these exercises in a circuit-style format for 5–30 minutes, resting as necessary.

Chair squats. Start seated in a chair, and then stand up.

Upgrade: Do squats without the chair.

Desk push-ups. Place both hands on the desk shoulder-width apart, lower the body until the elbows reach 90 degrees, and press back to the start position.

Upgrade: Perform push-ups on the floor, either on the toes or knees or with the feet elevated on a chair.

Hip bridges. Lie on the floor face up, knees bent to 45 degrees and feet flat on the ground. Drive the hips toward the ceiling until there is a straight line from the knees to the shoulders.

Upgrade: Place both feet on a chair and perform the exercise.

Elbow plank. Positioning yourself face down with the elbows underneath the shoulders (like the Sphinx), rest on the knees (novice) or toes (experienced) and keep the trunk muscles tight. Hold for 10–30 seconds.

Upgrade: From elbow plank, lift one leg at time, alternating between legs.

Dips. Sit in the chair, place the hands on the side of the chair and press down until the hips are elevated.

Upgrade: Place the body in front of the chair to increase range of motion.

Quickie Tabata™-Style Workout

Set the clock for 4 minutes and perform each of the following exercises in a circuit-style format for 20 seconds, following each move with a 10-second rest until time runs out. Longer rest times can be used if needed. Each exercise can be upgraded by moving at a faster pace.

-High-knee march. March in place, bringing the knees to hip height.

-Plank knee tuck. Starting in a push-up position, bring one knee to either the same-side elbow or the opposite-side elbow. Repeat with the other leg.

-Side-step toe touch. Step out to the right side and reach down to touch the right foot with the left hand. Be sure to bend at the knee and hip. Repeat with the other leg. If mobility is an issue, reach for the knee instead of the foot.

-Hamstring curl. In a standing position, bend the knee and bring the heel toward the same-side glute. Return the foot to the floor and repeat with the other leg.

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