An office workout is a series of exercises that can be performed within the space of one’s office. It involves a minimal amount of equipment, is typically quick and discreet, and can often be carried out without interruption to one’s work. These exercises can be beneficial to those who wish to relieve work-induced stress, have difficulty fitting longer workouts into their schedules, or who simply wish to supplement their normal workout. Some of the most common office workout moves include quick cardio bursts, neck and arm stretches, and chair-based movements like leg lifts and butt clenches.
For those with private office space, quick cardio bursts can be an effective way to burn extra calories. A cardio burst is any exercise that raises the heart rate. It can include running in place, doing jumping jacks, or even just walking fast laps around the room’s perimeter. In order to avoid taking too much time away from one’s work, these moves are usually performed for a brief one- or two-minute period and can be repeated throughout the day.
Modern offices commonly feature open floor plan layouts. Thus many people do not have the luxury of private space to perform an office workout. There are a number of exercises, however, that can be performed in a shared setting without distracting co-workers.
Among these more discreet office workout moves are stretches. These simple exercises have two major benefits: they burn calories and help relieve the stress and muscle ache that can be brought on by office work. Neck rolls, for instance, can reduce the stiffness that often results from working at a computer. To perform this move, roll the head gently to one side and then slowly continue the motion until completing a full circle.
Arm stretches can lengthen the muscles while targeting tension in the upper body. To work the back and shoulders, one can simply raise the arms straight over the head, holding for ten seconds to maximize the stretch. For a movement that targets the sides, reach the arms over the head and then bend first to the left and then to the right, holding the pose before returning to the start position.
Some office workout moves can be performed almost invisibly while still providing a fitness boost. For instance, one can exercise the legs while seated by simply lifting them at the knee. This motion effectively targets thigh muscles but is sheltered from the common view by one’s desk. Similarly, butt clenches — the simple repeated flexing and releasing of the gluteal muscles — tones the buttocks and can be performed without attracting any notice.