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Simple Exercises You Can Do Without Leaving Your Workspace

26 April 2021

Working full time often leaves us super busy that we no longer find the schedule to look after ourselves. This is especially true when you need to work for 8 to 12 hours each day. But taking care of yourself should not be put aside because it will take a toll on you eventually. It has been proven time and again that sitting for long periods can bring a host of health and mental issues such as: heart disease, diabetes, weight gain (even obesity), muscle weakness, fatigue, loss of focus, anxiety, high blood pressure, and even reduced productivity.

So how do you remedy this? Did you know that you can actually put in a work out even while you’re working. Below are a few exercises that you can do without the need to leave your workspace:

Chair Squats

You can do this when you feel like you’ve been sitting for quite some time and need to stretch a bit. You won’t even need to move 2 steps from where you are. This is all you need to do: 

  • Move your chair back a little bit – not too far that you won’t land on it if you sit all the way down, but not too close that you can’t squat low enough without hitting the armrests. 

  • Plant your feet and stand straight. Clasp your hands together as if in prayer.

  • Start squatting down slowly at first so you can gauge your balance and adjust as necessary.

  • Once you have your position locked in, proceed to do the squats and make sure you go low enough to nearly land on the chair (the chair will be your stopping point).

Do this for around 10 times. You’ll feel your calves and lower back working.

Chair Bicycle Crunches

You don’t need to be on a stationary bike or on a yoga mat to perform this. You won’t even need to get off your chair. 

  • Push your chair back from your table, just far enough that your knees won’t hit the table when you lift them. 

  • Sit straight and position both hands behind your head.

  • Lift your right knee and twist your upper body to meet the knee with your left elbow. 

  • Go back to your resting position.

  • Lift your left knee and twist your upper body to meet the knee with your right elbow this time.

  • Continue doing so in alternating sides for about 15 times.

Torso Twist

This is yet another activity that will not require you to get off your chair. This is relatively simple to do but quite effective to stretch out your back.

  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor and keep your back straight.

  • Without moving the rest of your body, place your right hand on the back of the right arm rest.

  • Now, twist your upper body towards the direction of the right arm rest while keeping your hips and legs in place. To maximize the stretching, you can also use your left hand to hold on to your right thigh while you twist.

  • Go back to your resting position. 

  • Next, place your left hand behind the left arm rest and twist your upper body towards the direction of the left arm rest while keeping your hips and legs in place. Again, to maximize the stretching, you can also use your right hand to hold on to your left thigh while you twist.

  • You can do this for 5 times each side.

Oblique Twisting

This is probably the simplest of all workouts and may also be the most fun to do. You don’t need to move your chair away from the table. 

  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor.

  • Use both hands to grab on to the table.

  • Use your body to twist to the left while holding on to the table. Try and twist as far as you can to maximize the stretch. Go back to your original position.

  • Next, twist your body towards the right, remembering not to let go of the table. Twist as far as you can to maximize the stretch. Go back to your original position.

  • Twist from side to side for about 15 times, and try to do it a little faster without creating strain.

  • Use your hands as the pivot points and the chair will do all the work. 

Imaginary Jump Rope

This is a great work out activity especially when you’re feeling a little sleepy or sluggish. Get off your chair, and it would be best if you can move your chair away for a little bit, just in case you need the extra space. 

  • Stand still and imagine you’re holding a jump rope.

  • You can do this with your eyes closed if it’ll help you visualize better.

  • Start skipping while you’re going through the motions.

  • Start slow and gradually increase the speed. 

  • Do this for about half a minute at a time. 

The great thing about these simple work out activities is that they are easy to do. Note the repetitions given are starting points only. As you get used to these routines, you can increase the number of repetitions and even mix and match them. These activities won’t even last five minutes, so it’ll be easy to do and you can continue doing them every hour if you can. 

Taking a break from working to stretch your body will give you twice the benefit. Not only will you get in a little workout in your day, you’ll also give your mind a fresh break from all the work you’ve been doing. This will allow you to refocus and even give you the extra productivity boost. And even if these doesn’t sound like a workout, it’s still a good thing if it’s all you can squeeze in each day. Remember that a little effort will go a long way. It might not seem like it today, but your body will surely thank you for it in the long run. Best of all, you won’t feel as tired at the end of your day.