Getting some exercise at work is easier than ever. Not only do most modern offices have some sort of solution for physical activity, a few key exercises can help you avoid burnout and stay active (while becoming more productive). Some people are afraid of looking ridiculous, even those who have their own offices and cubicles.
Open-plan spaces have taken away some of the privacy that might allow you to exercise at work, but you can still burn some calories by trying stretching for a few minutes every day.
Here’s how to do it the proper way.
1. Move your head around
This is the quintessential office stretch, and it might not burn a lot of calories, but it will definitely leave you feeling a lot better. Especially necessary after long periods of sitting down, stretching is something everyone can do (even while sitting). Whenever you have the chance, sit up straight on your chair or just get up for a little stretch, start at the neck and then move down.
Slowly approach the right side of your head to your right shoulder. Your ear doesn’t need to touch it. If you can do it, that’s fine, but if you feel you can’t, don’t worry, you’ll get there. Pull your head down with your hand for a minimum 40 seconds in order to stretch a little more every day. Do the same for your left side, front, and back. Don’t make a circle with your neck.
2. Stretch your back and chest
Extend your arms to the sides with your elbows slightly bent and your palms open, as if you were saying hello to someone. Push your elbows back and you’ll begin to feel how your back muscles become stretched. Hold your position, don’t do quick reps. 30 seconds is enough. Your chest muscles will also benefit from this short exercise. As with your neck, try to stretch a little more every day so you begin to see a difference in a few days.
Stretching your shoulders can also help you do some extra activity, and trust me, anyone who sees you will immediately understand what you are doing. If they don’t, just explain it to them (maybe even send them the link to this article). There’s no need to be ashamed about stretching, everyone does it. Some people do it every morning, some people do it at the gym, some people do it at work. Moreover, what’s so embarrassing about taking care of yourself?
3. Stretch your legs
Alright, if you do feel uncomfortable about people seeing you do this, try somewhere else. Go to the bathroom for a few seconds, anything to get you out of that workstation. Your body needs it to survive.Stretching your legs doesn’t just mean walking around. If that’s not an option, you can also do some leg stretching at your desk.
The fastest way to do so is to bring your knees up to your chest and trying to squeeze your leg upwards gently. You can do that while sitting or while standing. Hold that position for 30 seconds then bring your leg down and stretch it forward as much as you can for another 30 seconds, 15 seconds with your toes facing forward, and another 15 with your toes facing upwards.