Make your Work Station into a Workout Station

Make your Work Station into a Workout Station

By Daniel Seifert
In between meetings, dash off for a quick stretch, breathe or workout session. It’s possible, if work and workout can come together in your workspace

Interrogated about his consistently messy desk one day, the world’s smartest man had this to say. “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what is an empty desk a sign?”

A wise quip indeed from the great Albert Einstein. But we’re not here to quiz you on your desk cleanliness today. Rather, you’ll learn some smart ways to use your station as a health hub.

1. Exercise at your Desk

‘Deskercising’ is the latest thing among time-strapped office workers. Try the Fab Abs Squeeze, a silent exercise where you simply take a deep breath to tighten your abdominal muscles for 10 seconds. Repeat 12 times. Want more deskercise ideas? Click here. Don’t forget the value of adding more walking to your day. So don’t email your coworker 12 steps away; trot over to him.

2. Lean Back

Back pain is the scourge of the deskbound worker. To combat it, perfect your posture — which may not be by sitting up straight. Research from the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada used MRI scans to study 22 volunteers seated in different positions. The one that showed least spinal stress? Leaning back in an easygoing 135-degree posture. It might look lazy, but you can tell your boss it’s scientifically sound.

3. Swap Out Your Seat Routine

Some well-meaning health chasers swap out office chairs for balloon-like ball chairs, which claim to work out your core muscles. Unfortunately, it seems like they don’t offer much help in either area, according to experts. Instead, try standing for 15 minutes each hour. Many computers now come with wireless keyboards: why not type out your emails with the keyboard propped on a chest-height counter?

4. Remind Yourself of Your Good Habits

We often start the day with the best intentions — a healthy packed snack, or dreams of going for a yoga class at lunchtime. But as stress, meetings and tiredness bog us down, those visions wither like an unwatered office plant. So use your computer’s calendar functions to keep you on the straight and narrow. Programme daily positive reminders, like “walk to that salad bar ten minutes away. Have you eaten a piece of fruit yet? Don’t stress – take 10 deep breaths.”

Better still, change your desktop wallpaper to something encouraging: a healthy celebrity you admire, or an inspirational quote