Often seen lunging around the YorkTest offices and roundly mocked for his choice of Lycra, our Business Development Manager Tom is one devoted disciple of the fitness regime. We may snigger at his psychedelic leggings, but we can’t argue that he certainly has dedication to the cause.
Realising that summer isn’t all that far away and feeling my office chair groan as I lift yet another custard cream to my lips, I decided to swallow my pride and ask our resident exercise guru for some quick fitness fixes I could do at my desk…
Take a seat
For many of us, sitting is our default position at work. Often, for long periods of time, we remain rigid in the same position at our desks, typing away. In a confined space, it can be difficult to get the room required for a good workout (certainly without some odd looks from colleagues) but there are a few simple exercises you can easily incorporate into your day to day routine to help improve your flexibility.
- Calf stretches – whilst seated, lift your legs up and down on the balls of your feet to encourage blood flow
- Leg extensions – Seated in your chair, extend your leg until level with your hip. Hold in this position for as long as you can and then relax and repeat with the other leg.
- Back twist – Sitting up straight, place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Then repeat on the other side.
- Tricep dips – With your arms behind your back, rest on your chair and steadily raise and lower yourself.
At a stretch
When we’re busy, time can slip by quickly and before you realise, you’ve been sitting in one position for longer than you should. Set a reminder on your computer or phone to stop, get up and have a good stretch, reaching up to the ceiling and breathing deeply. This is not only good for you physically, taking a moment inhale deeply and correct your posture is also mentally beneficial – helping you to pause from the task at hand and recompose.
Feel the Power
Recent studies have shown that adopting a ‘Power Pose’ in the workplace can be beneficial to health and wellbeing.
Participants in the study had the hormone levels in their saliva tested before and after assuming ‘high power stances’. The findings indicated that their changing posture to a more confident pose reduced the stress hormone cortisol by up to 25%.
So, the next time you’re feeling the pressure at work, why not try the ‘Wonder Woman’ (hands on hips with feet set apart) and see if you notice a change to your mind-set.
Walk it off
Finally, one of the simplest and yet, most effective things you can do on a day to day basis is to walk wherever possible. It may seem obvious, but so often when we’re busy, we don’t make the time. Take the stairs instead of the lift, go and talk to your colleague instead of firing off an email and make sure you get away from your desk at lunchtime and take a good brisk stroll.
For more advice and tips for improving your health and wellbeing, at work and at home, check out the YorkTest blog.