Most of us spend long hours at our desk leaving little or no time for real fitness exercise.  This sedentary lifestyle has caused a significantly high rate of overweight and obese people in the US.  To correct this serious problem we have to create ways in which we can exercise in the office or even while at our desk.

Sitting at our desks for hours not only increases our body weight but brings a series of other symptoms.  Some of these symptoms are: tension in the neck, tense shoulder muscles, carpal tunnel syndrome, tight hip flexors, and weak gluteus muscles.  Some of the exercises that can reduce these symptoms and make us more physically fit are, neck and chest stretching exercises, hip flexor stretching, wrist circles, ankle circles, wrist stretches, leg extensions, hamstring stretches, lower back stretches, abdominal workout and stomach exercises while sitting on the desk chair. A video demonstration is available in YouTube “Office Workout by FitFiend”.

In addition to simple stretching workouts, there are various products that have come into the market in recent years to facilitate office exercise.  One that has received much attention is the TrekDesk featured in NBC Today, Fox News Orlando, CBS 5 News among others.  This is a six-foot height adjustable workstation that fits over most treadmills.  It is difficult to run while you work therefore, most users set it to one mile per hour.  This makes for an easy steady pace that can be sustained for hours.   In fact, users of the TrekDesk can type, read, and make phone calls, all while walking at a normal pace during their regular workday.  

The average person can burn about 100 calories per hour while walking at a normal pace.  If sustained, this can translate to weight loss of up to 50 pounds per year.  The benefits to getting off the computer desk and standing up to a normal walking pace are many:

  • Stimulate the blood flow to the heart. 
  • Feeling more productive.
  • Reduces the load on the back joints.
  • Can lower the risk for heart disease.
  • Can lower blood pressure.
  • Can help increase glucose metabolism.
  • Can produce a feeling of wellbeing.

    If you prefer to sit and pedal and not walk on a treadmill while you work, you can.  The FitDesk Pro is a device that can be adjusted to a stationary bike’s handles and provides the surface to hold a laptop and arm rest.  There is also the FitDesk X which is a stationary bike that is small enough to be portable and substitutes the bike handles with the surface to told the laptop and arm rest. 

    For a minimal pedal option, there are also stationary exercise peddlers that can be place under your conventional desk to help exercise while your work.

    Finally, finding opportunities to move while at work is necessary to stay physically fit.  These are other recommended tactics to increase daily activity during work hours:

    • Park your car further away from the office if whether permits.
    • Walk down the hall to speak with a co-worker and not make a phone call.
    • If you plan a meeting with one other person, make it a walking meeting not a conference room meeting.
    • Make walking part of your daily lunch routine.
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

     All these things can contribute to increasing daily activity, lowering body weight, lowering the risk for heart disease and improving overall quality of life.

    Office Exercises

    TrekDesk as seen placed over a treadmill
    Credit: TrekDesk