Stuck working in an office with no time to hit the gym on a regular basis? There are ways to burn off a few calories during office hours, says Selen Razon, a physical education professor at Ball State.
“Studies have shown that long periods of inactivity—including sitting at your desk—increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer,” she says. “I suggest that people do a few simple exercises to get their bodies moving and then stretching and toning at your desk. Moving a little goes a long way.”
- Start exercising before arriving at your desk by first parking your car as far away from the building as possible and then walking.
- Take the stairs whenever possible.
- Do exercises at your desk, including flexing arms, legs, and abs on 30-second intervals.
- Get rid of a chair and sit on a medicine/fitness ball while working. Sitting on a ball will tone and strengthen your abs.
- Stand up and/or take short walks every 20 minutes at desk. Studies show even simple frequent standing breaks significantly decrease your chances of getting diabetes.
- Exchange the typical desk for one that allows you to stand, which burns more calories.
- Bring gadgets to the office. Hand grippers and stretch cords are relatively cheap and can provide great outlets for keeping active while you look at your screen.
Razon says incorporating these exercises in your daily work routine could help keep off the pounds.
Nearly 27.5% of the American adult population and 31% of the adult population of Indiana reports being obese, ranking the state eighth worst nationally in terms of percentage of population severely overweight, says The Burden of Adult Obesity in Indiana. The study by Ball State’s Global Health Institute (GHI) found obesity rates rose by 0.7% in the last year.