Health At Work
Your ergonomic standing desk can double as an exercise station that’ll power you out of your 4pm energy slump. Standing at your desk means you’re already in the perfect position to do a few exercises to energise you throughout the rest of your working day.
Getting the blood pumping through your body is vital to keeping your noodle in good nick and acting as a cup of Java. Research at the University of Georgia, USA found that regular exercise plays a huge role in increasing your energy levels and reducing fatigue. It might seem counter-intuitive to get moving if you’re feeling a little slack, but even a small amount of exercise at work gives you movement which can prompt your body to release mood-boosting neurotransmitters that work just as well as those sugar ladled energy drinks driving Australia’s obesity epidemic.
We're not suggesting you burn a hole in the carpet by running on the spot, but just a few minutes are enough to get your meat-suit in blinging shape. The Mayo Clinic found that a meagre 30 minutes a day of light exercise can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, prevent diabetes, keep you at your fighting weight, prevent osteoporosis and stub out some cancers while increasing your energy and stamina. You don’t have to do 30 minutes all at once, you can divide it into 10-minute slots whilst working at your standing desk.
The routine below is subtle enough to be done in a work environment so you’ll have to schedule your jumping burpees for another time. Think of it as stealth fitness that can be done 3 times a day or whenever you feel a dip in your oomph. You’ll reap all the benefits of a gym session, except you’ll be getting paid to do it.
1. Bodyweight squats
(Do 12 Reps)
Muscles: glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, abs
A) This is widely agreed upon that this one of as one of the best exercises of all time for all your muscles, so if you can’t do it then learn. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
B) Bend your hips and knees simultaneously to lower yourself towards the ground. Go as deep as you can manage while still remaining comfortable. Hold onto the rim of the desk if you’re struggling for balance. Keep your back straight and knees in-line with your feet. Rise to the start position along the same path by straightening your knees.
2. Shove offs
(Do 10 Reps)
Muscles: chest, triceps, abs
A) This is like the ‘trust-game’ except you’re falling forwards and catching yourself. Stand in front of your desk when it's set to the seated position. If this move is done while your desk is in the standing position then it may feel too easy.
B) Lean forward, putting your hands on the rim of the desk with your palms down. Bend your elbows to lower yourself until your chest touches the edge of the desk. Explosively push yourself back to the start so you finish up stranding. Think of it as handing off yourself.
3. Split squats
(Do 8 Reps on Each Leg)
Muscles: quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs
A) You’ll alternate between upper body and lower body exercises forcing your blood up and down your body. Stand in the lunge position, with your right foot forward.
B) Bend both knees until your back knee is about an inch off the ground. Rise to the start. Switch legs and go again. Push starting your car by yourself should no longer be a problem now.
4. Triceps pushes
(Do 6-8 Reps in Total)
Muscles: triceps, shoulders
A) Place your hands on the rim of your desk. Lock your elbows and start to walk your legs out behind you until your body is straight and diagonal to the ground.
B) Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the rim of the desk. Be sure not to apply pressure downwards rather than forwards or you may push your desk forward. Straighten your arms to return to the start.
5. Single deadlifts
(Do 8 Reps on Each Leg)
Muscles: lower back, hamstrings, abs, glutes
A) Lower back may not be a showy muscle but you’ll wish you worked it if and when you tweak it. To shore yourself against future injuries, this move is the trick. Stand 3-4 feet away from your desk with your feet together. Raise your right leg off the ground slightly.
B) Keeping your right leg off the ground, bend down and touch your left foot with your right hand. Keep your back straight, making sure not to round it and bend from the hips while keeping a slight bend your right knee. Rise to the start position, switch legs and repeat.
6. Incline plank (hold for 45 seconds)
(Hold for 45 Seconds)
A) Place your hands palm down on the rim of your desk. Lock your elbows and make sure your hands are below your chest. Start to extend your legs behind you.
B) Keep edging your legs behind you until your body forms a straight line from ankles to shoulders. Hold that position without lifting your chin or holding your breath and you’ll start to feel the strain in your abs.
7. Standing calve raises
(Do 25 Reps)
Muscles: calves, abs
A) Rest the balls of your feet on the edge of a slightly raised platform such as a block of wood. Two thirds of both feet should be suspended in mid-air. Hold onto the desk if you need to for balance.
B) Lower your heels to the ground and just before they touch, rise up onto your toes and hold this position for 3-5 seconds.
Rest for 20-30 seconds between each exercise and repeat the circuit twice which should take you around 10 minutes. Enjoy it and reap the benefits of doing exercises at work
Exercise program developed by Ray Klerck - www.rayklerck.com.