Doctors are calling “sitting” the new smoking, and are saying that a sedentary lifestyle is killing more people than we would expect. Frequent sitters develop higher risk of heart disease, cancer and even Type 2 Diabetes.
Many of us are stuck in the office for at least eight hours a day, but don’t just lament about the situation. Whether you’re a gym rat or a newbie, you can make the best out of your time. Here are activities you can do to burn calories even while you’re in the office and make sure you beat the silent killer that is sitting.
1. Master the stairs
Forget about struggling up 50 floors if you work in a high-rise building. Instead, take your lift part of the way, then finish the last five to seven floors on foot. If you work on a low floor, then go ahead and use the stairs when you go in for work. Taking the stairs help you kick start your day, elevating your heart rate and working the legs – one of your largest muscle groups.
2. Post-Lunch Exercise Ball
Exercise balls work your core muscles and strengthen your posture, but we understand it can be tiring to balance for the entire day on one. Instead, consider swapping your seat for an exercise ball for one hour, starting right after lunch. You’ll be guaranteed a light post-lunch burn that also helps to keep you awake! You’ll kill two birds with one stone and stay productive while your colleagues doze off.
3. Reverse Sit-down Crunches
Yes, you can do crunches while you sit! While you’re comfortably seated, lift your legs and stretch them right out. Hold them parallel to the ground, then bring them in slowly. Slowly push your feet back out, holding your legs parallel to the ground throughout the entire motion. If you do this right, you’ll feel the burn in your abs.
4. Wall-Sit While You Wait
The pantry and copier room are places where there’s a lot of waiting and little else to do. It takes a few minutes for the coffee machine to spin up or for the copier to release your print-outs. This is the perfect time to bust out the Wall-Sit and fill this time with some calorie burning goodness. Put your back to the wall, then go into a squat. Make sure your go to a 90-degree bend, and then hold it till your coffee is ready. If you’re doing it right, you’ll feel a burn in your quadriceps.
5. Fast walk For food
This is an easy one: Don’t order in and then sit at your desk to eat. Instead, stand up and walk to get your lunch in double quick time. You don’t need to run, but pick up the pace and move with a purpose. By doubling your walking pace and power walking to lunch, you’re actually burning almost as many calories as a jogger would. Of course, this isn’t a full run but we all have to start somewhere, right?
6. Go face-to-face
Whenever possible, stand up and walk over to your colleague’s desk to have a quick chat, instead of using instant messenger apps. Avoid sitting down when you’re having that conversation too! Sure, walking to your colleague’s desk might not burn many calories at a go but the cumulative effect might surprise you.
It’s very important to note that these physical activities are not meant as a replacement of your regular workout regime. Instead, they’re meant to help you squeeze in some quick, additional calorie burning moments in the day to keep you going. Remember to exercise regularly, eat well, and focus on giving your 100% in every single workout!