What is the purpose of functional fitness exercises for the workplace? A typical day at a desk job involves remaining in one position and repeating the same task over and over. It’s not uncommon to suffer from neck, back or shoulder pain after sitting at a desk all day. Especially if, on a day-to-day basis, you spend seven hours doing only that.
Work-related Medical Issues
One would think that work-related medical issues involved the manufacturing or construction industries. But they can occur anywhere and no matter what your work environment. Bad Posture, repetitive movement, and remaining sedentary are all factors. They take their toll on the body over long periods of time. And can be contributory factors in musculoskeletal disorders. This is where functional fitness comes in.
Analysis of the last 50 years has shown that 80% of Americans rarely move from a sitting position. This is over the course of their 8 to 10 hour working day. The statistics show that workers missed a whopping 30 million days from work last year. This was due to muscle pains and bone problems.
The thing is that it doesn’t have to be like this. Some easy stretches that take a few minutes out of your day can reduce these issues. Use functional fitness exercises to loosen your hips and lower back, two or three stretches is all it would take. If your issue is in your upper body. And you need to release the strain from your shoulders. Then you’ll benefit from stretches that open up the hips.
Stretching a couple of minutes every hour will make the world of difference to you. Your muscles and joints will thank you for it.
Some N.E.A.T. Examples of Ways You Can Help Yourself
N.E.A.T. stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), which basically includes everything other than mid-level to heavy exercise. Standing, walking, fidgeting, cooking, cleaning, laundry, dog-walking, mowing, and the like — they all contribute to NEAT.
If you only think of functional fitness exercises as the activity you do in the gym, then you’re missing out on huge fat burning potential. Don’t just take our advice at face value, researchers have been studying it for years.
What they’ve found is that NEAT can have an enormous impact on the total calories a person burns — as many as 2,000 per day. And that’s much more powerful than any fat burning supplement or BS appetite suppressant.
If you’re serious about fat loss, NEAT is free. It’s a scientific approach that can work for your body. Another great tip is to exercise at every available opportunity. Not only will moving around as much as possible help with aches and pains. But you’ve got the added bonus of burning extra calories with every little thing you do.
Some suggestions — how many more can you come up with?
- Don’t park so close to work – give yourself plenty of time and park a slight distance away and take a brisk walk.
- Always opt for the stairs instead of the elevator – raise the heart rate and get the muscles moving.
- When you take coffee breaks, get it yourself and find a reason to walk to and from the photocopier more often.
- If your job involves you being on the phone a lot then take your calls standing up. While you’re up, do a few of your stretches.
- During your break or lunch make the effort to go for a walk. Even if it’s just a couple of laps inside the building or a few trips up and down the stairs, it’ll make all the difference.
- If you commute to work then why not get off a stop or two before you need and walk the rest of the way.
- If your job involves a lot of air travel then do a few laps in the airport terminal while you’re waiting for your flight.
These are just a few suggestions to combat your aches and pains. You know your work environment better than anyone. No doubt you can find many other ways that you don’t have to be sitting in a chair for your full working day. After all, it’s your health and only you can take care of it.
Functional Exercises at Your Desk
Stretching is definitely something you should be including in your office workout plan. But are you ready to take things to the next level? Check out the following exercises you can do at your desk.
1. Walk/Jog/Run in Place
This one is as simple as it sounds.
Stand up from your chair and get to it.
Anyone can do this one, you are in control of the intensity based on the pace you choose.
Want an even bigger challenge? Bring your knees up to waist level.
30-45 seconds. 3-5 times.
Now, before you panic at the thought of getting on the floor in your office . . . don’t!
There are other options besides the floor.
The modifications would be to do them against the wall or on the edge of your desk.
10 reps. 3 times.
From your chair, stand up, sit back down and repeat 10 more times. Simple!
4. Tricep Dips
Tricep dips done pretty much anywhere.
Use your desk or your chair if it doesn’t have wheels on it.
Turn your back to the desk.
Position your hands shoulder-width apart on that desk or chair.
Move your butt off the front with your legs extended out in front of you.
Straighten your arms but keep a little bend in your elbows.
Keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
5. Pretend Jump Rope
Hop on both feet at once, or alternate.
Increase the intensity by adding the arm movements you would do if you had a rope.
6. Calf Raises
Stand up behind your chair and hold on for support.
Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes.
Slowly lower yourself back to the floor.
Do 3 sets of 10.
7. Glute Squeeze
This is an isometric move. Squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and hold for 10-30 seconds.
8. Shoulder Press
Look around the office and find an old phone book or a ream of paper, something that weighs a few pounds.
Hold it at shoulder height and then raise it all the way overhead.
10 reps. 3 times.
9. Wall Sit
Another great isometric move.
Stand with your back against the wall.
Slowly lower yourself into a seated position and hold for 10-30 seconds at a time.
You can keep this move stationary and do it at your desk.
Or you could go all out and lunge down the hall to the printer and back.
With one leg in front of the other, gently lower the knee of your back leg down towards the ground.
Like you were going to propose to a co-worker.
10 times on each leg.
Would You Like To Know More:
10 Functional Fitness Exercises For a Full-body Workout