Doing Sun Salutations at your Desk? Go for a Walk Instead

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Here’s the deal. I’ve seen all these articles about working out and exercising at your desk, but I’ve never seen anyone I’ve worked with ever do them. Never once have I seen people doing push-ups or yoga or squats around the office.

But apparently some people are. Whether you use the treadmill desk, the FitDesk or an ergonomic ball to bounce on (which I have), you’re apparently doing your body some good, burning more calories than if you are just sitting all day long.

Marie-Josee Shaar, co-author of “Smarts & Stamina,” recalls her favorite things to do at the office to avoid afternoon lethargy and procrastination:

  • Push-ups on the bathroom countertop
  • Squats in the handicap stall
  • Neck stretches and shoulder rotations
  • Standing while on long phone calls and doing discreet knee bends and calf raises
  • Taking walks during lunch or afternoon breaks

As I thought about it some more, I realized I do exercise at work more than I originally thought I did. I try to take walks several times a day throughout the building so I get out of my cube and get the blood flowing. But I feel there’s a certain amount of office shame to doing exercises, because people will be looking at you funny when you go in for Crow pose.

Other recommended tips for staying healthy:

  • Take naps instead of going for coffee (I’m not condoning you nap at your desk, but if you somehow can work a nap in your day, a 10-minute power nap, then kudos to you)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Have lots of Vitamin C
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Do lunges at your desk
  • Park farther away if you drive and get in the extra few minutes of walking

One of our Twitter followers commented that most offices probably frown on you doing yoga at or near your desk, because if you ungracefully dismount from any position, it’s sure to end in a technological and HR catastrophe. So perhaps just do the minimal squats, lunges, squeezes and raises at your desk. Or best of all — just make an effort to get up from your desk and walk more often.

One of the problems we have in our office is not necessarily the shame of exercise, but the shame of having ungodly amounts of candy that we all snack on voraciously and then complain about. And that’s the flipside of the coin — if you want to be fit and healthy and look and feel better — then get up, walk around and make a few changes to your diet. Put down the Kit-Kats and coffee and opt instead for water and apples.

What other tips do you have to stay fit at the office, whether it be through exercise or even snacks and dietary tips?

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