We’re all trying to get healthier and fitter here at the Coop office, and we’re sure many of you are trying to do the same. It’s easy to push exercise to the bottom of your priority list, and on average, we spend more time sitting (9.5 hours) than sleeping (7.5 hours) over the course of a day!
All that sitting can take a toll on your health, but we’re here to show you that you can build muscle and burn calories even at your desk. Now let’s get active with these tips.
1. Stand at your desk instead of sitting.
If you have a sit-stand desk, take advantage of that standing option! Just an hour of standing burns about 50 calories an hour, which adds up to 30,000 calories a year (eight pounds of fat) if you stand for three hours a day for five days a week! It may take time getting used to it, so start in small increments and build your way up.
Aside from burning more calories, standing eases back pain and lowers risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, long-term mortality risk, and cancer. Amazing, right?
If standing at your desk isn’t an option, try finding ways to walk more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to your coworker instead of messaging them, walk to your lunch spot instead of driving, etc.
2. Do seated leg raises at your desk.
This move will target your lower abdominal muscles and quadriceps. It’s a lot harder than it looks!
Seated Leg Raise
Step 1: Sit at the edge of your chair.
Step 2: Lift both legs straight in front of you, holding on to your chair handles if necessary.
Step 3: Repeat 8-12 times.
Need a harder option? Add ankle weights for extra resistance.
Need an easier option? Alternate raising each leg. This puts less pressure on your abdominals.
3. Try out an elliptical trainer for your desk.
We’ve been loving this elliptical trainer from Stamina. It can be used sitting or standing, and you can increase the resistance for your desired intensity level. Its fitness monitor also tracks your exercise time, calories burned, and more. It fits perfectly under your desk, so you can mindlessly tone your lower body while working.
4. Take a short walk during your lunch or break time.
Aside from that bit of physical activity, getting sufficient sunlight is important for your health. It even helps prevent that afternoon slump so you can stay focused and energized throughout your work day.
5. Lift weights at your desk.
Don’t ignore your arms! After all, muscle burns more calories than fat even when at rest.
Here’s a useful video on ways to lift weights at the desk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjOCxLmfcSs