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If you are like most Americans, you stay seated or asleep for about 21 hours a day, according to a study of sedentary workplace habits.
That’s not to say you are twiddling your thumbs after you land that gig from a staffing agency. A lot of that sitting is done while working your temp or temp-to-hire job, but it’s obviously not a healthful undertaking.
So why not work out while working? Believe it or not, there’s a litany of effective exercises you can perform at your office desk. For optimal work performance and concentration, you need to move around at least once an hour. Instead of walking to the refrigerator to retrieve a snack or gossip with your coworkers, use that break to bulk up. Here are a few ideas for quick workplace exercises:
• Hurry-up yoga: Break out a yoga mat and bust out a couple of downward dogs. This will stretch your lower back and get your mind and body moving. You can also knock out a few sit-ups to work off a power lunch.
• Wall it up: Wall sits work wonders. Brace your back against the wall and squat; repeat five to 10 times. This is great quad work.
• Get a six-pack: Swivel your chair away from your desk and extend one leg. Hold 10 seconds. Raise the other one for the same amount of time. Repeat until fatigued. This is good for neglected, perhaps invisible, abs.
• Phone it in: Every time you get on the phone, put on a headset and pace or walk while talking. This will get your blood moving.
• Desk-ups: Place your hands on your desk and do 10 pushups with your body at a roughly 45-degree angle. This will work your biceps and chest.
This is not an exhaustive – nor particularly exhausting – list. Get creative. Invent your own office exercises. Get your suitemates involved and you may have a regular exercise crew.
If you hit it hard enough, at the end of the day you may feel like … sitting down.
AtWork staffing agencies want those we place in jobs to stay healthy and fit so they can perform the most important exercise in an office: A move to a permanent position.