Muscle Toning in the Office

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Sometimes it’s difficult to find time to work out, and many of us sit at our desks for hours at a time without any movement other than typing. Evenings at home may not be much better if you watch TV or play games at your computer.

New research suggests that sitting for long periods of time may increase cancer risk – whether you exercise regularly or not. What to do? As it happens, we’ve got some great ideas on being less sedentary during the day in our latest video: 3 minute office workouts.

And here are more ideas:

  • Keep hand weights at your office. Bring in a few different sized weights to share with others in your office. Keep them in a central place so everyone can easily pick them up and do a few bicep curls or shoulder presses at their desk. If you do this every hour or two (even for just a couple minutes at a time!) at work, you’ll likely see a difference in your muscle tone. A colleague recently brought in weights at AICR and using the weights for just 2 days was enough to have me sold on what a wonderful idea this was!
  • Get a standing desk. You burn more calories standing then sitting, and an easy way to be more active is to change your desk to a standing one. You can buy desks that are made just for this (with taller legs), or get an addition to your current desk that will raise your computer and keyboard to standing height. If you don’t want to stand the entire day you can also get a taller chair – stand most of the day and only sit for short periods of time.

With the busy lives we all live, it’s important to find methods to manage our time well, which should include getting our work done AND staying healthy! I find exercising (even small amounts) is most important when I’m the busiest because it helps relieve stress.

So do your mind, body, and colleagues a favor and bring in some weights to your office, and consider switching to a standing desk!

Read more about how sitting and moving are linked to cancer risk.

Tell us how you stay active at the office.


Author: Sonja Goedkoop

Sonja Goedkoop, MSPH, RD, is the lead registered dietitian at Zesty, Inc. She is passionate about helping others improve their health through diet and physical activity and believes eating nutritious food should be easy and taste great. You can follow her on Twitter @SonjaGoedkoopRD.

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