10 Quick, Free Exercises To Get You Feeling Productive

So you’re fed up of sitting hunched over at your desk for 8 hours? As if the health risks (obesity, heart attacks, back pain etc.) aren’t enough motivation, the feeling of stagnation should get you up and moving. We’ve got ten quick ideas that will get some much-needed oxygen into your system and best of all, can be done in your office environment! 

1. Standing

Standing is not a problem fixer but it is the bare minimum you can do to better your health. Living a sedentary life can vastly increase the chance of developing blood clots. So if you can stand to make a call or send an email, you are on the path to improving your health.

2. Walking

Squeeze it in wherever you can. Go to someone’s office instead of calling them, offer to make the tea round, take a walk around the building/block. Breaking the seated marathon once an hour by walking or standing, significantly increases your health prospects.

3. Stair Exercise

Scrap the lifts and take the stairs! It is the easiest and most obvious way you can make a change. Climbing the stairs will improve your cardiovascular fitness, tone your thighs and glutes, strengthens musculoskeletal system and aids sleep!

Make sure to allow time for gaining composure at the summit. Arriving sweaty and breathless to the seventh floor just ain’t pretty... nor is it professional.

4. Jog on the Spot

You’ve been immersed in your projects for hours. It’s time to take a break. Try jogging on the spot for a few minutes, or jumping jacks, or dancing. Re-energise your muscles and get oxygen flowing for better concentration when you resume work.

Jogging on the spot allows you to reap the same benefits as a non-stationary jog, but without the hassle, decreasing your risks of developing osteoporosis!

5. Shoulder blade squeeze

Stand up straight and open your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this pose for ten seconds and release the repeat.  

This combats your desk hunching damage and makes you more aware of your posture when you return to your seat.

6. Chair Dips

Place both hands on the edge of your chair, fingers pointing forwards and walk your feet ahead. Then you lower your bum towards the floor and use your arms to pull you up. Repeat this exercise five times and then pause. Over time you will build up how many sets of five you can do.

This will work your entire upper body strength, toning arms and using your own weight to strengthen yourself. As you progress and find the basic sets easier, you can progress to harder variations such as doing them on one leg or increasing the incline by raising your feet to a higher position.

7. Chair Squat

Stretch both arms in front of you. Stand up and sit back to your chair, and repeat. This will help with toning glutes and getting oxygen flowing, especially when accompanied with deep breathing. Inhale as you stand up, exhale as you go down.

8. Book Press

Seek out the heaviest book in your office. Hold it behind your head at a 90 degree angle. Inhale as you extend your arms above your head and out as you lower them behind your head, then repeat.

As well as working on your triceps, this exercise will get you standing and breathing properly.  

9. Wall sit

Place your back against a wall, slide your back down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, then slide back up and repeat. This exercise focuses on toning thighs but also strengthens your core and is a calm one to do.

10. Leg stretch

Finally, if you absolutely must remain seated, clench your glutes, hold and release. Repeat this to prevent blood clots and keep blood moving.