Wellbeing

Easy Exercises That Turn Your Office Into A Lunchtime Gym

It’s 3pm and your mind switches from the task at hand to the most important question you’ll tackle that day: coffee or chocolate? When adrenalin and cortisol run rampant in your system all day, you naturally hit an energy slump in the afternoon, reaching for the usual suspects as a quick hormone fix. But what goes up must come down, and this short-lived high usually ends in an even deeper crash and burn. The good news is there is a way to cruise through your afternoon like a champ, and it involves not working. Double win.

Studies from both Sweden and the UK have shown that exercising during work hours can lead to higher productivity and an elevated mood. You might also enjoy benefits like increased concentration and mental stamina, enhanced creativity and faster learning. Walking meetings have even become a thing. Basically, science says that exercise will make you an all-round better person.

But if you’re far too busy to even contemplate that 30-minute lunchtime walk, the good news is there’s a bunch of stuff you can do in the place you’re sitting right at this very moment. It’s actually pretty easy. We’ve reached out to personal trainer, lifesaver and actor Ryan “Whippet” Clark – who you might remember from and Home and Away to show you how.

squats
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Body weight squats

Standing with feet about shoulder width apart, bend at the knees and push your bum back like you’re about to sit on a seat. Keep your weight on your heels, bend the knees until you get as close to a 90-degree knee bend as possible. Push through your heels and rise back up to standing. Do three sets of 10 repetitions, and loosen any tight pants. Splitting your pants in the office is rather awkward.

desk push ups
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Floor or desk push-ups

Depending on your strength levels you can either do these push-ups on the floor, use your desk, or a bench (the easier option). Place your hands roughly shoulder width apart, and keeping the body straight, bend the elbows and drop your chest down towards the floor/bench. Pushing through the palm of your hands straighten the elbows. Aim for three sets of between eight to 12 reps.

chair dips
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Chair dips

Place the palms of your hands on your chair and your feet firmly on the floor. Move your rear end off of the edge of your seat. Bend your elbows and lower your body. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.

rock climbers
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Rock climbers

Remember throughout this exercise to stay strong through your mid section by drawing your abs in and squeezing your bum cheeks. Start in the push-up position. Now run your feet up, with alternating strides, bringing your knees up under your chest. Do this at speed – four sets for 20 seconds, with 20 seconds rest. My advice is to do this in the storeroom or somewhere quiet, as we don’t want your co-workers thinking you’ve lost it and are trying to run out of the office!

walking lunges
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Walking lunges

This is like walking but taking a longer stride, and at the end of each step dropping your back knee down to the ground. Remember during this exercise to maintain great posture. Stay nice and upright keeping your shoulder blades pulled back together and pushing your chest forward. Draw your abs in again and try not to let your knee drop in when at the extension of your lunge. Keep it tracking over your second toe (and definitely take any heels off for this one).

See Ryan in office action:


Ryan “Whippet” Clark is an actor, seasonal lifeguard with Waverley Council in Sydney and personal trainer at Lifecycle Fitness. You can watch him saving lives on Channel 10’s ‘Bondi Rescue’.

(Lead image via Stocksy)