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Exercises

Office Workouts You Can Do With Your Colleagues

You don’t have to do your office workouts alone. With these group exercises, your entire workplace can reap the benefits of regular desk exercises — and there are plenty. Among the ones listed are: 

  • Improvement of time management skills
  • Better mental performance 
  • Improved stress management techniques

In short, keeping one’s employees physically fit, and therefore healthy, is actually beneficial to workplace productivity and not a distraction. Group exercises also serve as a way to boost morale and promote a harmonious workplace environment where everyone can work as a team.

If you’re someone who already exercises at the comfort of your desk, then your co-workers can certainly do the same, whether that’s stretching out a sore neck or doing some low-key yoga poses while answering calls. The possibilities are endless, and so are the benefits to everyone’s mental and physical well-being.

How Can I Exercise In My Office?

There are plenty of exercises you can do while sitting at your desk that range from a full-body workout to upper bodylower bodycorearm, and leg exercises. You can even do stretches that target different muscle groups that are at a disadvantage by sitting all day, such as your hip flexors and hamstrings.

Exercising is actually more natural than we think. When we feel a pain in our neck, our instinct is to try to massage or stretch it out. Without being aware, we might already be doing some neck stretches in our everyday lives.

Stretching and exercising should be seen as activities that improve your working life, not take away from it. Apart from setting up an ergonomic workstation, it’s necessary to include a scheduled break for stretches and workouts if you want to keep performing at your best.

That’s why many offices have started to incorporate wellness breaks in their daily 9-5, whether that’s in the form of a 10-minute exercise break with a leader or a weekly Zumba session. Regardless, there are plenty of benefits and virtually no cons to having a healthy, fit workplace.

What Exercises Can I Do While Sitting At My Desk?

Some inconspicuous and totally doable office exercises include:

  • Leg lifts
  • Desk push-ups
  • Ab crunches to keep the core tight
  • Desk chair dips
  • Shoulder rolls
  • Bicep Curls

For more exercises to do while working at your desk job, check out our page! We cover everything from a quick, 10-minute light stretch to workouts that improve your core strength.

How Can I Lose Weight Sitting In The Office?

Another excellent benefit from exercising is potential weight loss. Workouts that aid in weight loss include cardio, aerobics, and more. 

You might think that your fitness journey has to be put on hold when you spend most of your day sitting in front of a computer, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Under-desk bikes are an affordable and effective way to burn calories (not muscle mass) without having to leave your desk. There are plenty of models of different shapes, sizes, and features available on the market. 

On the lookout for one yourself? Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up the best under-desk bikes available in our guide.

Workouts for You and Your Co-Workers

If you’re working in an office setting, you might be a little hesitant to start working out. After all, your office mates might not understand why you’re lifting your legs in the middle of a work call. But there’s no need to feel ashamed. 

In fact, exercising at work is for everybody. Plenty of studies have shown health issues that can be worsened by staying sedentary and sitting for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. So instead of worrying about funny looks from the person-next-cubicle, why not try to engage the entire office in exercise routines? That way, everyone can stay active, sharp, and energized for the work day. The productivity goes up, employees are energized, and everyone is happy.

Here are some group workouts you can try:

Zumba

This cardio workout is a highly enjoyable way to get your entire workplace moving and grooving. For those who aren’t into strict, routinary regimes for weight loss, this dance form can serve as a fun avenue for busting stress and staying fit at the same time. Plenty of companies include zumba sessions in their corporate wellness program.

Upper Body Stretches

The upper body, especially the neck, shoulders, wrists, and upper spine, can become stiff from sitting down in front of a desk all day. Upper-body stretches are a great way to keep your workplace safe from any long-term stress injuries on these sensitive muscle groups. Try assigning a leader in the office to coordinate every stretch break. Examples of exercises you could do include:

  • Wrist stretches
  • Chest openers
  • Bicep stretches
  • Shoulder stretches

Chair Squats

If your workplace prefers exercises heavier on body weight, then chair squats are a convenient exercise without anyone leaving the desk. Start in a standing position just a few inches away from your chair, feet flat on the floor, knees in a slight bend, and legs straight, a little more than shoulder-width apart. 

Slowly lower your bodyweight onto the chair, keeping your abs tight, head forward, and your upper body in a straight back position as you do so and try not to lean forward too much.

You can have your arms and elbows straight out or your hands clasped together to maintain balance. Squeeze harder as you assume the squat position, knees bent and your butt almost touching the chair. Stay in the same position for 1-2 seconds before going back to the starting position. Do 5-10 reps.

Seated Ab Squeezes

On the other hand, seated exercises are easier to perform and don’t require a ton of energy. Ab squeezes are one of them. Whether you and your colleagues are in a conference, in the break room, or waiting on some photocopies at the nearby machine, ab squeezes are completely doable. Simply squeeze your core muscles for 5-10 seconds, then release. Repeat the squeeze as many times as necessary.

For added intensity, lift your legs up as you squeeze your abs. Keep your legs extended and as high up as you can, then lower them back down once you release your hold.

Desk Push-Ups

Here’s another fun one for you and your colleagues. They work the same way wall push-ups do, but instead of a wall, you’ll be using your desk. If you have standing desks or a height-adjustable desk, you can raise and lower your table as needed.

Simply start in a leaning position on your desk. Bend your elbows to lower your body, then push up with your arm muscles to go back to starting. 

Hi-Five Jump Squats

Want to congratulate your teammate on closing a new deal? Upgrade your hi-fives and fist bumps with a leg-strengthening twist. Do this exercise with one or two partners. Position yourselves facing each other while performing jump squats. As you jump up, do a hi-five! 

Plenty of offices are still advised to maintain social distancing during these times. In this case, you can avoid physical contact by simply stretching upward each arm on every jump.

Arm Circles

Arm circles are another effective upper-body exercise that won’t get in the way of your office setup. You can do them standing or sitting, the choice is up to you. Simply extend both arms straight and sideward then move them in small circles for 30 seconds. Move them in the opposite direction for the next 30 seconds.

Lunge Relays

This workout can be done by your office in the breakroom or a spare room. Start by having two groups form a vertical straight line. The person in front performs lunges all the way to the end of the room and back. Once the person has returned to their line, the next person will follow suit.

To do walking lunges, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. With one leg outward in front of you, slowly lower your body until you feel a stretch in the thigh of your front leg and the front of your back leg. If you started with your right leg forward, it should be bent at a 90-degree angle while your left leg is extended behind you. 

Keep your hands on your waist for balance. Once you feel the stretch, switch sides and move forward with one leg in front of you and the other leg stretched out. Keep switching sides and moving forward until you’ve returned to your line.

High-Knee Relays

The same concept above applies to this office workout. Instead of doing normal high-knees, do them while moving across the room and back to your starting point. To do high-knees, start in a standing position. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows sticking out. Then, slowly bend one knee up while twisting the opposite elbow towards it. 

For example, if you’re lifting your left foot/knee, twist your right arm towards it while the left arm moves back. Keep the opposite leg straight, and don’t lift your knee too high in order to maintain balance. Simply keep moving forward as you switch legs.

Desk Yoga

There are certain instances where heavy workouts and cardio exercises might not be suitable for every worker in the office due to their physical condition, low mobility, or health problems. In that case, a milder exercise can still work, and they can still do it without leaving their desk job. Simple yoga poses can be done by everyone. These include:

  • Upward Salute 
  • Tree Pose
  • Seated Spinal Twist

Final Note

We hope this guide was helpful. Remember that a few minutes of exercise and movement is better than none at all. With these workouts, you and your colleagues can reap all the benefits of an active lifestyle, both at home and at work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the 7 minute workout actually work?

The 7-minute workout is a high-intensity circuit training or HICT workout that provides significant benefits to plenty of individuals. There are positive aspects to it as well as negative ones. For starters, this workout is quick. You can squeeze it into a busy day, and it’s ideal for those who are time-conscious. It is also convenient because it requires no special equipment, and thus can be done anywhere at any time. It increases muscle strength, endurance, and can help you lose body fat.

However, its effectiveness depends on your needs. If you’ve no time for a full routine, then a 7-minute HICT is better than nothing. It’s also convenient if you cannot avail of a gym membership or simply don’t have the needed equipment. But compared to a longer, more intense resistance-based and weight-based workout, the latter is going to get you to your goals faster if your goal is to bodybuild.

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.