Exercise on Desk | A Moment of Benefits

Published on: 27/08/2020

Being too busy and continuously working long hours continuously in front of desks may lead us to forget the need to move from time to time.

Exercise and physical activity in general, offer numerous benefits for our body. These allow us to burn calories and keep our muscles healthy. Exercise is even recognized as a helpful tool that improves our mental state and mood. In engaging in physical activities, our body releases endorphins, the chemical responsible for reducing our perception of pain and for increasing our feeling of pleasing. 

With a lot of people now working from home, there might be fewer opportunities to take breaks and walk around the work environment. 


The Physical Benefits of Exercise 

Aside from strengthening our bones and muscles, exercise helps in the fight against obesity because you continuously burn more calories. It can also be a factor in reducing the risk of cancers, including colon, breast, uterine, and carcinoma. This proves that exercise is effective in controlling weight, reducing sex hormones or insulin, and in strengthening the immune system

In addition, exercise is good for our heart as it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. A study on Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health revealed that a 30-minute exercise each day is enough to keep your cardiorespiratory fitness in top shape.

On the other hand, more and more research also uncovers the dangers of sedentary behavior. In an article written by John Hopkins Medicine, researchers stated less active people are more prone to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other cardiovascular diseases.


Exercise and the Workplace

When buried with so much work to do, especially in this time of pandemic, it can be easy to use the “no-time-to-exercise” excuse. To combat this, it is necessary to pinpoint opportune times to move and exercise particular muscles. Even in front of your desk and in your office chair. 


Desk Area Exercises You Can Try

According to WebMD, you can set aside the specific time for you to do these (like every hour or so or during coffee breaks), or you can maximize every opportunity available for you, like that time you are waiting for a page to load on your computer.

  • In a seated position, pump both arms above the head for 30 seconds, then tap your feet on the floor in rapid succession, for 30 seconds. Repeat this for three to five times.
  • Simulate jumping rope drills for a minute: Alternately hop on one foot, or on both feet at once. For an easier version, you can just move the arms as if you are turning the jump rope and bring one leg forward alternately and tap the toes.
  • If you have space, you can try shadowboxing (spar with an invisible opponent) for a solid minute or two. If that’s not for you, you can use the space to walk around as briskly as you can. 
  • Do walk lunges. Step one foot forward and bring the back knee down without touching the floor. Do this for a few reps on both legs. 
  • Like in a football drill, try running in place. If you have the stamina, lift the knees up closer to your chest. Otherwise, you can just march in place.
  • Time yourself to do jumping jacks for a minute. For an easier option, you can reach the right arm up, step the left foot to the side and tap the big toe. Repeat this for the left arm and the right foot as well.

By setting aside some minutes for these physical movements, you are able to ensure the health of your body and maybe even break the monotony of your workday!