As someone who uses the computer all day as a career, the lack of exercise had taken its toll. I never really understood just how out of shape I was until I tried to play a few games with my children over the summer. I’m definitely not 20-something anymore. In light of this new version of self-discovery, I decided to improve my lifestyle and try to become more active throughout my day. How do I reestablish some of my health while sitting at a desk 10 hours every day?
1. Work Standing Up – There are many websites and doctors that attest to working on your feet as opposed to sitting in a chair. Due to arthritis in my knees and a previous back injury, I am only able to sustain this activity for a short amount of time. However, I do have a computer on my standing workbench that I use for 20 to 30 minutes of the day. There are special desks you can buy that raise and lower, I just don’t have the money for one of those.
2. Active Breaks – Every hour or so, I get up and walk around the house or office. I take about five to 10 minutes to move about to get some blood pumping to the rest of my body. Getting the heart working gets the blood moving to various parts of your body and I’ve noticed that I feel far more alert afterwards.
3. Quick Exercises – If I am feeling especially lethargic, I try to do a few quick exercises to get the body moving. Usually these entail anything from a series of 20 or so jumping jacks or any other quick exercise I can think of to get up move about. If I am in the office, I’ll do a quick series of jumping jacks in the restroom or outside so that I don’t interrupt the staff on location.
4. Walk for Lunch – Instead of packing a lunch or going up to the kitchen to make a sandwich, I’ll walk to the local grocery store to get something to eat. As this is roughly a one mile round-trip, I can get quite a bit of exercise. After eating, I usually feel a bit refreshed and ready to continue my day. I could drive the car, but then I would still be sitting which defeats the purpose of being more active.
5. Chair-ups – Throughout the day, I’ll stand up at my desk and do “chair-ups.” It’s kind of like a curl, but I lift my 30 pound office chair to my chest 10 to 20 times. It’s a quick exercise that can be done in some of the most confined spaces whether you are at home or in a cubicle. Just be careful not to move the chair into expensive office equipment.
The most important key to keeping yourself fit and trim with a desk job is movement. You need to keep yourself active throughout the day in order to burn excess calories and use body fat for energy. Of course a proper diet plays a vital role in keeping yourself healthy, but you need to keep moving. I’ve lost a few pounds by merely keeping myself active in the past two months. If you have a desk job, how do you keep yourself from degrading over time?