Thousands of us travel into work every day to spend hours sitting at a desk. And for many, a quick trip to the canteen or coffee shop is about as much exercise as we’ll get during the course of the working day.
According to research carried out by Loughborough University, office workers spend, on average, 5 hours 41 minutes sitting down during a typical working day. Worryingly up to 70% of these desk-bound individuals do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity. The government is unsurprisingly keen to encourage the UK’s sedentary workforce to get moving whenever possible.
Recommendations include all the obvious stuff – use the stairs, not the lift, take a stroll over to your colleague’s desk instead of emailing them and stand up tall to make that phone call (admittedly quite annoying for the person sitting next to you?)
But what if you could tighten and tone at work without lifting yourself up from your chair?
Personal trainer, Kevin Dobson points out that while you’ll never achieve the body of your dreams this way, a desk-based workout can actually keep a few of those crucial muscles working. Get into the habit of doing a few easy exercises at your desk, he says, and at the very least you should see a definite improvement in your overall energy levels.
Repeat each exercise 10 times, three times a day.
Hamstring Stretch – Place both feet flat on the floor and contract the hamstring muscle at the back of each leg. Hold for ten seconds, then release.
The Thigh Toner – Stretch your legs out under your desk and contract your quad muscles (these are the muscles down the front of your thighs) – your knee should sink slightly as your leg straightens. Hold for ten, then release.
The Calf Stretcher – Stretch out both legs in front of you and point your toes. Then slowly move your toes so they are pointing up towards the ceiling.
The Tummy Toner – Sit up straight and pull your tummy button in towards your spine. Hold for ten seconds.
Kevin Dobson www.beyond-fitness.org.uk
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