At the beginning of every year, millions of people across the country promise themselves that this will be the year that they finally go to the gym, lose weight, or improve their health through dedicating time to a daily exercise routine.
With 26% of adults classed as obese, the UK has the highest level of obesity in Europe. Less than 30% of those adults manage their weight through exercise. Almost 40% used weight management aids such as diet clubs, fitness trackers and gym or exercise routines to try to lose weight.
Unfortunately, things don't always work out as planned. UK's adults who are employed full-time work an average 35 hours each week. The busy work life of many Britons make it difficult to schedule other routine activities (such as time at the gym) around the demands of work. In a study by the University of Cambridge it was found that an hour of moderate exercise to counteract the risks that sitting for 8 hours a day.
If you have a gym membership that you almost never use - due to a lack of free time - you don't necessarily have to give up your New Year's resolution to get into shape. Below, we offer four simple exercises you can do while at work. Whether you're sitting behind a desk and or stuck in a three-hour-long board meeting, these exercises can help you stay physically fit even if you're not able to use that gym membership you purchased on January 2nd.
Exercise #1: Shoulder Press
A crux of working in an office is that we spend long hours sat in chairs. Even if we make it a priority to maintain proper posture when sitting, there is bound to be a time when we slouch our shoulders and curve our backs.
One of the best ways to avoid back pain is through having a strong upper body. This encourages proper posture while also maintaining a strong core. While at your desk, find an unused phone book or a ream of bond paper that hasn't been opened. With one hand balancing the ream of paper or phone book, raise it to full height above your head and then lower it slowly to shoulder height. Repeat this exercise at least 15 to 20 times with each hand. By doing 3 to 4 reps of this exercise during your day, you will significantly increase your shoulder strength and upper body core while simultaneously improving your posture.
Exercise #2: Glute Squeeze
Just because we spend long hours on our behind doesn't mean that we can't get our gluteal muscles into shape. The glute squeeze is a simple exercise that no one in the office will know you are practicing. Simply squeeze your glutes as strongly as you can and maintain that hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat several times during the day while sitting.
This is a type of isometric exercise which is a strength training strategy where muscle doesn't change during contraction. These exercises are done in static positions which make them a great choice for the office.
Exercise #3: Calf Muscle Toning
Despite what you might think, it is possible to tone your calf muscles while sitting at your desk. Simply raise your legs up on the very tips of your toes while remaining seated and hold that position for up to a minute. The motion of raising your legs onto your tiptoes will automatically work your calf muscles. After several sets of this, you should begin to feel a good burn at the back of your legs.
Exercise #4: A Full Abs Workout
Lastly, there are several activities you can do to get a full abdominal workout while never leaving your chair. If you have a private office, simply sit on the edge of your chair, lean backwards as far as you can until your back touches the chair, hold onto the bottom of the chair, and then flutter kick your straight legs for 25 to 45 reps. Not only does this improves your ab muscles, but it will give you a bit of a cardio workout as well.
If you share an office space with other co-workers and don't want them to see you flailing your legs in the air, you can also work your abs by simply putting one hand on the back of your neck and bending to the opposite side. 15 to 20 reps for each side will target your obliques and can be done in the office without drawing too much attention from your colleagues.
These four simple exercises can be done from the comfort of your office desk and offer a full-body workout that will help you stay in shape.