A big fad over the last few years has been the standing desk. They’ve begun showing up in offices all over the country but are they really worth it? Some people have reported more focus and a more satisfied feeling at work versus traditional sitting at a desk. But if your primary focus is to burn more calories at work, standing isn’t the magic ticket to get out of the exercise. Many articles claim that standing at a desk will burn “50 calories more an hour” than sitting but more and more research is being released indicating that the number is more likely 50 calories more a day rather than per hour. So here are some exercises that can burn a lot more calories than sitting or standing at your desk:
1. Take a Regular Walk Around
This can be a purposeful walk around the building every few hours or a less conspicuous plan to get in the extra steps. Park farther from the door to your office or take the long way getting to your desk. Purposefully use the bathroom, breakroom or drinking fountain farthest from your office. These strategies are great for people who might be self-conscious of walking around the office. For those less self-conscious, find a walking buddy and make laps around the outside of your building or up and down the halls.
2. Use A Balance Ball Chair
The key to a balancing ball chair is its backless design and the need for you to continually hold yourself upright. This keeps your core engaged while you work, strengthening with minimal movement. A warning with these chairs, they can cause some back pain because it’s very easy to slump as your muscles begin to get tired. Make sure to keep your usual chair around and steadily work your way up to using the balancing ball chair as your primary seating. A fun idea, if you have several like-minded colleagues, is to take turns throughout the day sitting on the balancing ball.
3. Play Footsy
Nope, not with your coworker, we all know that doesn’t end well. There are two different exercises you can do under your desk without ever getting up. The simplest is a leg plank. Stick your feet straight out and hold them there as long as you can. This will help strengthen your legs but also your core and hip muscles. The next exercise is to lower your feet slightly and then scissor them up and down in a kicking motion. Set yourself a timer on your phone to give yourself a goal and don’t stop until it hits zero. Some sources will suggest that you tap your feet under your desk but in an open office floor plan, the sound of you rapidly tapping your feet under your desk for five to ten minutes at a time might make you an unpopular desk neighbor.
4. Office Dips
Most people would call these “chair dips” but since most offices now use rolling chairs which are not ideal for doing dips, it’s sometimes better to broaden the term. You can also do dips using a strong desk or a counter. Dips are good for strengthening both upper arms and your core.