(Don’t) Work for It: Quick Office Exercises to Keep Your Body Moving During Work Breaks

In a world where the lines between work and personal life are blurred; we increasingly tend to neglect self-care and draw boundaries for ourselves. As email after email keeps piling on, we become so immersed in our tasks that we remain glued to our seats. However, the effects of a sedentary lifestyle with a lack of exercise can turn into something serious. Especially with jobs that require one to be stationed at the desk endlessly, and not getting enough physical movement through the day can potentially be dangerous and even lead to cardiovascular complications. To be on your toes, in this case, really means to look after your health, especially that of the heart.

We understand that there aren’t enough hours in the day and that your hectic schedule may not permit an elaborate workout. But simple easy exercises between work or during work breaks can also help. These easy-to-do exercises will ensure physical movement and therefore, help keep your heart and overall health in check. 

Exercise for Upper Body: Desk Push-Up 

Desk push-ups can be a simple desk exercise,  which targets your chest, shoulders, and arms. To perform a desk pushup: 

  • Move 2 feet away from your desk or at a distance where your wrists align with your shoulders. 
  • Place your hands down on the desk to find yourself leaning on it diagonally. 
  • Bend your elbows so that your chest lowers towards the desk (make sure to keep your elbows inward close to your body). 
  • Now straighten out the elbows so that you are back to the starting position — wrists aligned with shoulders. 
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 

Exercise for Lower Body: Squats 

A quick yet effective office workout, this movement targets the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves. To perform a squat: 

  • Keep your feet parallel to your shoulders and your toes slightly facing outward. 
  • Keep your spine straight, and shoulders pushed back, and relax your chest. 
  • Keep your heels pressed into the ground and be conscious they stay that way for the entire movement. 
  • Now, slowly start bending your knees as your hips push backwards, engaging your core as you lower (mimicking sitting on a chair) — make sure your hips don’t go too far behind. 
  • Keep your hands either folded together in front of your chest or you could leave them loose – folding them upward. 
  • Keep your knees locked and ensure they don’t extend forward farther than your toes.
  • Make sure your chest is in an upright position.
  • Keep lowering down as far as you can go.
  • Keep your shoulder/upper body and lower back stable. 
  • Now, using your heels, push yourself back upright to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 

Exercise for Strong Core: Seated Oblique Twists 

One of the effective options for office chair exercises, this movement targets your obliques and core. To perform oblique twists: 

    • If you have a rotating chair, seat yourself with your hands placed on the desk in front of you.
    • Now, twist yourself to the far right using your hands while engaging your core. 
    • Then, using your core muscles, make the same movement on the left side. 
    • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 
  • Note: In case you do not have a rotating chair, follow the same movement with your arms up, holding the back of your head.

Exercise for Full Body/Cardio: High Knees or Jumping Jacks

Another quick office workout, this movement targets the entire body for a full body pump. 

To perform high knees: 

    • Keep your feet about hip-to-shoulder-width apart and let your arms rest by your sides.
    • Keep your head straight, chest relaxed, and core tight.
    • Now, keep your hands in front of you, palms facing down. First, lift your right knee up towards your chest, above waist level till it touches your elbow. 
    • Bring your right knee down and repeat with the left.
    • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 
  • Note: You can either keep the pace slow in a walking motion or increase the pace in a jogging motion. The entire movement must be done standing in place.

To perform jumping jacks: 

  • Keep your feet about hip-to-shoulder-width apart and let your arms rest by your sides.
  • Now, jump as you spread your feet apart and simultaneously raise your hands upwards to point towards the sky. 
  • Jump again to return to the original position.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 

If these exercises feel like they are more intense for you, yoga is also a great alternative to stay physically fit and boost heart health. Here are 5 Yoga Asanas for Staying Heart-Healthy

Let’s get moving and hop, skip, and jump our way to a healthier heart!

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