And no, I’m not talking about working out on your lunch hour, I’m talking about stopping what you’re doing during the day, getting up out of your chair (or stepping back from the keyboard if you’re at a standing desk) and doing a few reps of a couple of exercises!
In my attempts to keep myself moving all day at work and not simply standing in one spot, I’ve started to incorporate regular exercise breaks into the day to keep myself from stiffening up and to try to emulate the kind of regular movement our ancestors might have experienced in a day. Sure, I have a long way to go before my day includes hunting and gathering, but some of the activities I take on could be stand-ins for some of those activities.
This has the effect of keeping you moving regularly throughout the day – helping you to avoid a lot of the problems associated with things like prolonged sitting and other lack-of-movement maladies. (for more on this, check out biomechanist Katy Bowman’s website at KatySays.com). And many experts suggest doing exercises throughout the day for best improvement in those exercises as well as consistent movement (the common name for this is Greasing the Groove – more on that here at BreakingMuscle.com).
1. If anyone asks for people to help move stuff around the office, volunteer. You’ll be popular and you’ll get a chance to move stuff and lift heavy things.
2. There are a few exercises that can be done right in your cube. Actually, a LOT of exercises can be done in your cube, but these are a few of the least obtrusive.
- Push-ups (your desk can be used to do moderate reps if you are working up to full push-ups, even)
- Grok Squats
- Dips (using your chair or the edge of your desk)
3. As you know, I’m a big fan of MovNat and frequently will do some basic sitting/standing/kneeling movements in the cube. These are functional and real-world movements, and the combination of the two will bring improvements in more ways than just general conditioning. Here’s an example of a quick routine you can go through: Tall Half-Kneeling to Kneeling.
4. Do you have stairs in your building? Stop taking the elevator and start taking the stairs on a regular basis. If you’re working up to your location on the eighth floor, then take the elevator up to four, or whatever, and go the rest of the way up on the stairs. And your backpack or briefcase is your extra weight -making things more challenging!
5. Some exercises are more obtrusive, for sure. Find a secluded corner of the office and go to it! Here’s a recent example I did:
The important thing is to keep moving throughout the day. If you do this regularly, you can actually reduce the lengths of your formal workouts and make them more effective when you do take that time. More on that in a future post!
I would love to see pictures and videos of people doing little mini-movement sessions throughout the day. Share your work below in the comments!