“Better health is more important than beauty and with better health comes beauty.”

The workplace environment can be a hostile one. The health risks one subjects oneself through by sitting in the office chair all day are more than what meets the eye.

Sitting on our rears all day is actually deactivating our gluteal muscles. Ever heard the phrase “Use it or lose it?” This is especially true for your backside. The less active our glutes, the tighter our hips, hamstrings & quads become and more pain we feel in our low back, knees, neck & shoulders. Get up out of your office chair and do some chair exercises targeting the gluteal muscles like tap squats or leg raises to prevent this from happening.

Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. Your goal should be to increase movement in your everyday life, not just in the office. Become a “move more” kind of person.

Start Simple:

You can start by doing simple things like choosing the stairs over the elevator. This might sound ineffective but changing something as minuscule as that in your daily routine can have great effect on your mobility. Climbing will activate your muscles to prepare you for the arduous hours you are going to be stuck to your chair. Avoid munching over a jar of biscuits which are made of maida. The maida in turn makes you even more lethargic during the day.

Switch carrying fruits and salads with you. Quit the office tea for homemade green tea which is healthier and acts as a detoxifier for your body. These simple changes can take you a long way in this hectic lifestyle of yours.      

Make sure your back is straight & the lower part is supported by your chair. Your computer screen should be at eye level to prevent any slouching. Feet should be flat on the floor and legs and arms comfortably resting at 90 degrees. Poor posture leads to neck and back pain.

10-Minute Workouts:

A 10-minute workout could attract the wrong kind of attention from co-workers and bosses. If it does, you can try explaining why you’re doing it, or just keep at it and ignore negative reactions, which will likely fade with time. Know this that there is nothing more important than your health.

Trainer Susie Shina recommends these intense exercises designed specifically for the white-collar environment: 

  • Wall presses (like push-ups, only against a wall)

  • stand-ups (squats into your desk chair)

  • march in place (try not to notice who’s staring)

  • knee-ups (in your chair, bring your knees up).

"Squat like Channing Tatum is watching." - Erin Weiss

Exercise Balls:

Here’s another idea mentioned by more than one fitness expert: 

Replace your desk chair with a big exercise ball. “When I was a software developer, I brought one of those balance balls to my office and stopped using my desk chair,” says Jeff Wooten, president of The Body Mechanic. “It almost forced me to exercise while I worked.”

Being the first in his office to go chairless earned Wooten quite a few looks and comments. But Wooten and his exercise ball became trendsetters -- and saved money for his employer, which was accustomed to shelling out hundreds of dollars for ergonomic chairs. Balance balls sell for as little as Rs.820. As absurd as this may sound and look, it is quite effective.

“A healthy body is a platform for flourishing a healthy mind.”

Hit the Gym:

Still, we’ve got to admit that doing push-ups against a wall -- let alone a cubicle partition -- may be just too much. “Some of these activities could be difficult in some work environments,” says Scott Lucett, director of education at the National Academy of Sports Medicine (USA).

In conclusion, make it a point to hit the gym regularly. Fit it in your schedule whether before going for work or after coming from the workplace. Going for an early workout can help you to start your day early and on a high. If you are a late bloomer you can go for a workout in the evening.

Get up and start acting. A lap around the office won’t hurt!

“Master your fears or your fear will master your mind,

Control your mind or you mind will control your body,

Shape your body or your body will shape your life,

Live your life the way you want or live your life the way you have to.”