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The workplace can be very hazardous for those trying to stick to a weight loss plan. Hours spent sat at your desk combined with working lunches, consistently unhealthy vending machine offerings, and trying to dodge yet another round of birthday doughnuts can all be a big challenge for even the most determined dieter. But what if there were a way to offset all this unhealthiness? Here we have some amazing ideas for losing weight at work, as long as you can get your boss to agree to them!
No, we haven’t made this up! Innovative designers have come up with a great way to keep fit as you work by combining an adjustable height desk with a moving platform for you to walk on as you work. The treadmill is very simple by design and, if you don’t feel like walking all day, as it is no more than a slightly raised platform, it is safe enough to put a chair or stool on for sitting. As you become more accustomed to it, you won’t even notice that you’re exercising, and for more creative jobs, the time spent pacing can be a great way to inspire new ideas while you work out. If your boss won’t stretch for a treadmill desk for everyone, maybe just one in the office would be sufficient, and then you and your colleagues could take turns using it for an hour a day and see how many calories you’ve burned - it might even inspire a little friendly competition!
For those who fear they might be distracted by an important email and lose their balance while they’re walking the treadmill, the cycle desk is the same kind of idea but with a simple stationary bike beneath an adjustable height desk. The advanced models have more comfortable seats than your average bicycle, and since cycling requires less concentration than walking on a treadmill, there’s more chance of you exercising without noticing. Forward-thinking bosses might even take inspiration from airports in European cities like Brussels (where customers are forced to peddle in order to charge their phones and laptops) and power the office computers and lights with the energy created by your cycling!
For those with less space in their cubicles, the portable pedal bike is another ‘deskercise’ machine that's well suited to multitasking. These bikes are essentially just the peddle part of a bike on a metal frame, and can therefore fit easily under any desk. To test the appeal of the bikes, exercise researchers gave them to full-time workers and tracked their usage. As reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the workers pedaled for an average of 23.4 minutes on the days they used the bike, burning an average of 187 calories per day. As the bike is portable, you can also use it in your apartment while you’re working from home or checking personal emails.
While disciplined people are able to perform muscle stretches, march on the spot or engage their abs all while sat in their desk chair, most of us need a little more…persuading. That’s where the exercise ball comes in; because the ball itself wobbles, it causes the body to adjust along with the slight movements of the ball. This works the stabilizing muscles of the core as you’re essentially forced to engage your abs in order not to fall off, so no more crossing your legs or slouching, meaning better posture and stronger core muscles.
One of the problems with a desk job is sitting all the time and that there’s no option to do anything else while you work, other than sit. With an adjustable desk you can alternate between sitting and standing, meaning you stretch more muscles and avoid the slouching and tense shoulders that come with sitting all day, and standing more often also contributes to an overall better sense of well-being and health. What’s more, standing burns up to 50 calories more per hour, which may not seem like much, but if you divide your 40 hour working week between standing and sitting, that’s 1000 extra calories per week, equivalent to five of those birthday doughnuts Clare from accounts was offering today.
What do you think of these ideas for working out while you work? Or do you have any of your own ways to add a little exercise into your working day? Let us know by commenting below.