When your line of work involves long hours of sitting at desks and staring at screens, there’s an easy-to-cling-to excuse for getting out of shape and packing on a few extra pounds. Laptops, tablets and smartphones all lend well to bad posture and decreased physical activity. Being that most jobs and careers these days require a significant amount of time on these gadgets, it’s important to have a plan in place to counteract the potentially negative effects to your health.
It’s not hard at all to implement a nearly full-body workout routine that can be done right from your desk. With a couple clicks of the mouse and for under $60, you can turn your office space into your own personal gym.
These have all been priced out at Amazon. The extent to which you take these exercises depends largely on whether you work in an office by yourself, or how accepting & understanding your officemates are.
1. Use lightweight kettlebells or dumbbells
With some creativity and one or two lightweight dumbbells, you’ll be blown away at the amount of exercises you’re able to do right from your office chair. You can target every muscle in your arms and shoulders.
Kettlebells and dumbbells also don’t take up very much space, so you’ll be able to discreetly store them under your desk or fit them in one of its drawers.
Estimated Cost: Delivered right to your door for under $25
2. Use a stability ball instead of your chair
Substituting a stability ball in place of your standard office chair throughout the day is an effective way to target your abs and obliques.
With a stability ball, you’re no longer relying on the back of the chair to keep you propped up. Instead you engage your core which leads to an increase in your core strength. This is also helpful for your posture and the well-being of your lower back.
Estimated Cost: Delivered right to your door for under $20
3. Use elastic bands on different parts of your chair
Combining a simple elastic band and the different parts of your office chair allows for a variety of exercises. On your lower body, you’re able to target your thighs & calves and strengthen your knees & ankles. If you use the elastic bands on the upper part of your chair, you can target upper body muscle groups such as your arm, shoulder, and chest areas.
The elastic bands you’ll need for this come in a variety of sizes and strengths. Get creative and figure out what will work best for you and the muscles you want to target. They’re inexpensive so you may think about purchasing several.
Estimated Cost: Delivered right to your door for under $15
4. Do crunches
One of the simplest — and cheapest — ways to get a workout from your desk is to do stomach crunches. The key here is to focus on your technique both with contracting your muscles and your breathing. You’ll also want to plan on doing high repetition routines to make this really effective.
All you have to do is position yourself on the front of your chair, focus on targeting and using just your abdomen muscles, and slowly contract your abs so that it lifts your feet off the ground and pulls your knees in. As with the previous exercises, get creative and find out how to best make this exercise work you.
Estimated Cost: FREE!
So although your work might require you to sit and stare for hours at a time, there’s no excuse for letting your health and figure take a turn for the worse.