Can exercise really boost office performance?
Research suggests that exercise can boost the performance of employees in the workplace. But what if you haven’t got time to hit the gym before work? Here we give you a list of exercises to do in the office.
1. Chair Squats
Stand in front of your office chair with your feet hip-width apart. Next, slowly lower your bum towards the chair without actually sitting down, remembering to keep knees over your ankles at all times.
Your weight should be placed in your heels throughout the full range of motion. Straighten your body to the upright position and repeat as many times as you want. Try doing at least three sets of eight reps.
Placing your arms out in front of you will help your balance, while tightening your abdominals on the way down will support your back.
2. Desk Dips
Stand in front of your desk, facing away from it. Place your hands on the edge of the desk, making sure they are a shoulder-width apart. Gradually walk your feet forward while maintaining a firm grip on the desk.
Your knees should not bend past your toes, plus you should keep your chest elevated and head up throughout.
Next, slowly lower your body towards the ground. Be careful that your elbows don’t bend to an angle smaller than 90 degrees. Raise your body upwards and then repeat. Aim for two sets of six reps.
3. Ab Twists
You can do these either standing up or sitting down, it’s up to you, so try both and see what works best for you.
A bottle of water is needed. Hold it at chest level and gently twist to the left as far as you can – comfortably, of course – feeling your abs contract and tighten. Twist back to the centre and then do the same to the right. That’s one rep.
Try one set of 10 reps to begin with, then up the ante accordingly. Just remember to do what’s comfortable for you. Don’t push it too much, especially at first, otherwise you could end up hurting your back.
4. Shoulder Shrugs
You’ll need two bottles of water for these. Again, either standing up or sitting down is fine. Hold one bottle in each hand, keeping your arms straight and your feet a hip-width apart. The bottles should be facing your thighs.
Next, shrug your shoulders straight up toward your ears as high as you can. Remember, you need to keep your arms straight at all times, so don’t bend them. Hold the uppermost position for one to two seconds.
Don’t roll your shoulders. Gradually lower your shoulders back down but don’t fully relax until you’ve finished all your reps. Do three sets of 12 reps. You shouldn’t use your legs or back for this exercise.
The good, old-fashioned push-up is perfect for the office. You don’t need any equipment – just get down and do as many as you can!
Start on the floor, setting your hands slightly wider than a shoulder-width apart. Your feet can be a shoulder width apart or touching, whatever feels most comfortable for you. If you’re struggling to balance, move your feet further apart.
Your head should be looking slightly ahead of you, not straight down, while keeping your body in a straight line (no bums in the air!). Push yourself up until your arms are straight and supporting your weight, then repeat.