There's growing evidence that suggests sitting down for long periods of time can be bad for our health, but with so many of us sat behind a desk every day, it can be difficult to stay active during the 9-5. That's why we've put together some easy (and discreet) exercises you can do at the office, to help you keep healthy - both physically and nutritionally - while you work.
The toe tap
Tap your toes on the floor under your desk – the faster the better. You can add a bit of difficulty by standing in front of a bin and lifting your legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet. It’s a great way to get the blood flowing!
Stairway to (fitness) heaven
This one is simple: take the stairs! Take two at a time to make it even more of a workout. As a general rule, try to get up and walk around the office whenever you get the chance throughout the day. Instead of sending that email, go say it in person.
The office curl
Just like a regular dumbbell bicep curl, start at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest. Use a stapler or water bottle to add weight to the movement. Try 12-15 reps, then switch.
Ready for the day
Seated upright with feet flat on the floor, bring the palms together in front of the chest, pushing both hands together until you feel the arm muscles contract. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Release and repeat the sequence.
While you're waiting
Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, press up on your tip toes, pause at the top, then lower back down. Repeat for three sets of 12-15 reps. Try raising only one leg at a time for a tougher workout.
To start toning, squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release. This can be done standing or seated. Repeat until the glutes tire.
Seated leg raise
While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat for 15 reps. Loop a bag strap over the ankle for added weight, or for more of an abs workout, add a crunch.
The chair swivel
Sitting upright and with the feet just above the floor, hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb. Then, use the core to swivel the chair from side to side. Go back and forth for 15 rounds.
While seated in a chair with wheels, at an arm’s length from a desk, grasp the edge of the desk with both hands. Then, with your feet slightly off the ground, begin to slowly pull yourself towards the desk, and then push away (with nobody behind you) to complete.
Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
Pretend you’re holding a pencil between the shoulder blades. Or, if you really fancy a challenge, actually hold the pencil there for real. Hold for 5-10 seconds, release, and repeat for 12-15 reps.
Shrug it off
Raise both shoulders up toward the ears, hold for five seconds, and relax. Repeat for 15 reps. Try holding a ream of paper or water bottle in each hand to add even more difficulty to this move.
Sit and stretch
While seated, extend your legs and reach your hands toward your toes. Do this for 20 seconds for a great lower-body stretch.
Clasp your hands together above your head, extending them upward. On the way down, gently pull one elbow to the opposite side overhead, and then repeat for the other.
Living a healthy lifestyle means eating healthily too. Here are some guilt-free snacks to enjoy at the office instead of crisps or chocolates, along with a few healthy-eating tips recommended by dietician and health blogger Nichola Whitehead of Nic's Nutrition.