Special Programs






Remember the good old days when "work" meant manual labor with a side of blood, sweat, and tears? Nope? Neither do we! These days it seems we're more likely to log hour after idle hour with our backsides glued to our seats. And while you may be a spreadsheet champion by day and gym rat by night, recent research suggests that the recommended 30 minutes of cardio five times a week may not undo the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle.

So, what's a worker chained to his or her desk to do? Luckily, short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in-between conference calls and emails can improve your fitness and heart health. While these "deskercises" (desk exercises for the cubicle-bound) won't help you run a four-minute mile or give you six-pack abs, they will improve strength and burn a few extra calories to boot. So whether you're juggling presentations, reports, or emails, here are five sneaky exercises to squeeze into your to-do list for a healthier (and happier!) workday.

1. The Cubicle Wanderer. Walking during work is totally underrated. Take a stroll down the hall to catch up with coworkers or welcome a new employee. Or, instead of dialing extensions or sending emails to the manager two doors down, put in some face time. Just beware of tempting candy jars when making the rounds.

2. The Lunch Break Hammy. Strengthen the hamstrings with this standing leg curl. Stand behind your chair and hold onto it for support. Gently kick one foot back, aiming the heel for the top of your thigh. Lower your foot back down and repeat the exercise with your other leg. Do 10 reps, take a bite of your lunchtime sandwich, and then do 10 more.

3. The Fist Pump. Has the head honcho approved your extra vacation days? Time to rock out to your favorite playlist and tone yours arms at the same time. Fist punch into the air like a champ (switching arms, of course), and continue for 60 seconds or more-or until you realize the boss is right behind you.

4. The Shoulder Shrug. Simply raise both shoulders up toward the ears, hold for five seconds, and then relax. Repeat for 15 reps. Feeling unstoppable? Try advanced shoulder shrugs while standing and holding a paper ream in each hand. (Not recommended for board meetings.)

5. The Posture Perfecter. Perfect posture is a must for long days at your desk. Practice safe desk ergonomics by adjusting the chair height to make sure your feet, hips, and arms are at 90-degree angles to the floor. Engage your core to keep the back straight throughout the day. No slouching allowed! ​​