As more and more people get into wearing fitbands that track steps, sleep, heart rate, movement, etc., I find that to be a good thing because the more educated you are about your body and its activity level, the more likely you are to stay in shape or continue a fitness program. At least that is my opinion.
One of the main points about fitbands is to track movement via steps taken in a day and/or heart rate. While this is pretty rudimentary, it does follow my philosophy of staying in shape; the more you move the fitter you will be. Let’s face it; dead people have zero movement so logic is, the more you move the more distance you have created from being dead 🙂
I call this the ‘zero movement theory’, the closer to zero, the closer to death. Simple and easy to remember!
Remember, you burn calories from low to high in the following order:
- Laying down, least amount burned
- Sitting, burning a little more because you are using core muscles to stabilize yourself
- Walking, pretty obvious, more movement
- Brisk walk
- Running, biking, rowing, HIIT; I lump all these together although some burn more calories than others and there are a ton of other cardio exercises that burn more than jogging but you get the point
So this makes me think about office workers. How can they increase their activity level? There are millions of Americans that go to work and sit in a chair for 8 hours. If you train in the morning or afternoons, that isn’t all that bad but if you are like most people and just go home to lay on the couch after an ‘exhausting day’ at the office, that is not a good thing. Remember the zero movement theory.
Although I train every day, either in the morning, lunch time or evening, I still like to keep my activity level up at work. I am one of those that sits in an office for the entire day or when I have to get out of the office, I may be driving for hours at a time. In other words, very little physical movement.
So how does one increase their physical activity under those conditions?
There are many things one can do with sedentary jobs. Here are some simple examples:
- Posture, sit up straight in the chair, and don’t slouch over. Hours of bad posture leads to bones rejuvenating themselves into the position you mostly are in. How many people do we see walking around with a curved back and rounded forward shoulders? It isn’t just osteoporosis, it is having bad posture. I did a blog post of how often the body rejuvenates here.
- Parking the furthest distance possible from your office, to increase the amount of steps taken in a day. Remember to bring your umbrella just in case it rains! We want you moving, not soaking wet!
- Take the stairs. The more the better, don’t just follow the one or two up and the two or three down rule. If you can handle more than two or three stairs up, then go for it.
- Take the longest distance possible to hit the restroom. If this means going up and down a few flights of stairs, do it.
- Stand up at your desk whenever possible instead of sitting down. Especially when being on conference calls.
- If possible, pace back and forth in your cubicle while on the phone.
- If you have a chair that swivels, rotate left to right, work those core muscles. You can do this while working on a PC or on a call very easily.
- Walk during your lunch break or go up and down stairs. Do this before you eat but do eat! It is just as important not to skip a meal.
- Do squats by standing up and sitting down while on a call. Great leg workout, every little rep adds up!
- Do shoulder shrugs to maintain posture and stretch your upper body, it gets stiff not doing anything for the entire day. Pull your shoulders up as high as possible roll them forward and backward then bring them back down. Repeat.
- Small hand weights in the office, doesn’t have to be much, 3 or 5 pounds is good, perform one arm curls while on a call. Get that blood flowing.
- Work the neck muscles, rotate your head forward and backward and side to side.
- Perform calf raises while sitting down, do 100 reps, you don’t even have to count them, just do them until you feel a good burn. Squeeze the muscles at the top then bring your feet back down.
- Work the chest muscles by creating tension. Can be done again during a conference call. Just bring your arms out at chest level then bring your hands together as if hugging a tree. When your palms meet, squeeze them in that position hard for five seconds. Then bring your arms out wide again and repeat several more times.
- Desk pushups, arms shoulder length apart with palms on the edge of the desk. Next, place your feet away from the desk, perform pushups. Do sets of ten. If you can’t handle ten, then do what you can do. Again, you want to increase body movement throughout the day.
- Need to talk to someone in your office about work related stuff? Don’t email them, just walk over and talk to them. I see people emailing others and they are just a couple of cubicles away. Really?
- Breathe in with your diaphragm, hold then breath out letting every little bit of air out as possible then hold it like that for five seconds then repeat. Most people do not know this but this is an incredible ab workout. When done right you really feel an amazing burn.
- Single leg raises, while sitting down raise each leg independent of the other, all the way up, squeeze the muscle then lower the leg. Alternate between legs until you have done ten repetitions.
As you can see, there are many things to do while sitting in your office chair that not only increases movement but actually works out the muscles. You can get a full body workout by doing all the above throughout the day.
In todays world everything is being automated not only for efficiency but to also cater to the lazy. It is so easy to fall into this trap which will only lead to bad health and a lower quality of life as one gets older.
So go to the office and workout! What a great way to get 8 hours of gym time while getting paid and be….Fit Forlife!