Since you made the switch from tobacco to electronic cigarettes, you’ve given up more than just a hacking morning cough and that telltale stench in your hair and clothes. You’ve rid yourself of loads of health risks, a hefty monthly cigarette bill and lots of time spent outside when you could have been doing anything other than killing yourself slowly.
Congrats! Now that you’ve got your e cig for vaping at work, chances are that you’re getting a lot more done at the office as well. When you’re not wasting time running outside for a smoke break every chance you get, you’ve got to find new ways to stay active at work. Make it fun and easy with INCIG’s expert-picked list of the top five exercises to do at your desk.
Most of us office folk spend a ton of time typing at keyboards that aren’t ergonomically positioned to suit our hands, wrists or arms. We sit in chairs that aren’t adjusted to the proper height for our desks so we type at angles that are odd to our bodies. We don’t always know that our repetitive actions are effectively screwing up our carpal tunnel nerves and if we did, we’d probably do something to remedy that situation. Something like this: Once every couple of hours as needed, stand up at your desk with your arms at your sides and your palms facing forward. Place your palms on the desk and lower your body gradually with fingertips pointing in toward your body. Then turn your hands around and lean on the desk as you would normally, stretching the tendons the other way. Sounds simple but it feels surprisingly good and your wrists will thank you.
Hand Grip or Stress Ball
This seems like a small thing but it can make a big difference. Hand strength goes… well, hand in hand with a lot of other things that are crucial to your productivity, like coordination and dexterity. Grab a generic handgrip and alternate between left and right throughout the day when you’re not typing or writing. Squeeze on a stress ball for improved muscle tone as well, or when the sound of your cubicle mate’s gum chewing is about to send you flying into a frenzy of rage.
You ever turn to grab that copy from the printer in just the right way and feel that fantastic inadvertent back crack? That satisfying pop is the sound of gas bubbles escaping from joint fluid surrounding vertebrae in your spine. After these bubbles pop, it takes time for the gas to build up again (that’s why you can’t pop your back or knuckles again right away). It’s too bad you can only experience that wonderful release once every few hours, isn’t it? Cue the good news you knew was coming. Next time you’re feeling tense, try this: Sit on the very edge of your chair and look back over your shoulder, twisting only from the mid-back up and placing one hand on the back of the chair. Use the other hand to steady yourself on the opposite knee. Twist your entire torso gently but steadily. Now do the other side. Now breathe. Now try not to melt into a puddle of feel-good.
Lacking in the upper body strength department? No time for the gym? No worries when you’ve got a sturdy desk or wall at work (if you haven’t got a sturdy desk or even a wall, you may have bigger worries than we can help with here). Take your average push up stance – hands a little more than shoulder width apart – and lower your body, back straight and feet close together behind you, as far down as you can go before pushing back up. Keep your arms relatively rigid, bending only at the elbows and keeping your shoulders strongly aligned with your back. Repeat 15 to 20 times, or until you start to get really weird looks from the new girl in Accounting.
Best Bum Squats
So you want to sculpt the tight derrière of your dreams but your job makes you sit on it all day, right? We can empathise. Though our quick and easy workplace exercises won’t guarantee you an instant Gerard Butler Bum or Cheryl Cole sexy look, this office chair squat will help you right along your way. Adjust your chair to its lowest possible setting and stand in front of it with your feet apart, about as far as your hip’s width. With your hands on your thighs (but not supporting any of your weight), very slowly lower your body down toward the chair, leading with your bum. You should feel the burn in your gluteus maximus and hamstrings, which means you’re doing it right. Resist the urge to let your tush touch the seat, repeating 20 times.
There’s one addition to this list that you can’t do at your desk but you should be doing daily regardless. As if we need to say it: Always take the stairs and never take the elevator. After all, three or four flights of stairs never killed anyone (not going up, anyway). The extra calories you burn over the course of a couple months could surprise you and you’ll breathe easier, too. And when it comes to puffing on your e cig at work, remember, nicotine is a natural stimulant. The rewarding little rush of dopamine and epinephrine you get within a few seconds of a puff are simultaneously pleasurable and physically motivating. Happier employees, increased productivity and now they’re taking their smoke (and exercise) breaks at their desks? There’s simply no better way to get a green light from upper management on vaping e cigs at work.