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If you are an office worker, it is most likely that you get sore, fatigued, and sleepy during your work day regardless of your work environment and office arrangement. Exercise has been repeatedly shown to be an effective boost for productivity at work.
That being said, there are several challenges concerning exercising at work, such as:

  • Uncomfortable clothes
  • Sweating in work outfits
  • Feeling embarrassed doing awkward movements while your colleagues are working, or worse, if you have clients facing you.
  • Difficult exercises
  • Lack of equipment
  • Lack of space

Taking all these challenges into consideration, there are several solutions that you can implement to give yourself a non-caffeinated boost in energy during work, and keep your physical activity counter running even when seated in the office.

Equipment needed

Before going into the exercise routines, you are going to need some equipment to provide a wider exercise selections. Worry not, the equipment are not going to be heavy, big, or annoying to carry around. On the contrary, our philosophy is always about being practical to promote sustainable outcomes through consistent habits.

Elastic/resistance band

The only fitness item that you “need” is a regular 1-1.2m elastic band. Nothing fancy, nothing heavy or impractical, an elastic band can easily be stored in your laptop bag or backpack without requiring any significant space. Moreover, it’s among the most affordable items you can purchase, and you can take it with you to the gym to perform movements that the gym doesn’t have machines for.
Elastic bands are made from latex materials, which means that they can stretch profoundly and repeatedly without being torn, as long as they are stored in their package form (not tied or stretched) and in dry, relatively cool places (your bag). Since they follow the law of elasticity, their physical properties mean that the more you stretch them, the harder it will be to stretch them further. This means that one elastic band can be adjusted for different resistances depending on your fitness level and capabilities, adding to their benefits.

Recommended product from Amazon (UAE): https://amzn.to/3H80zRY
We recommend this product more than any other because it is the most affordable and the highest rated one among similar items, with three bands of different resistance each provided in the package, which provides a higher range of options and progressions as each resistance becomes easier with time and practice.

Mini bands

Mini bands can be created manually from the resistance band mentioned in the previous paragraph by tying it into a small loop. However, if you prefer to use each item for its intended use and/or would like to have a greater selection of bands, we recommend adding a set of mini bands to your fitness toolbox. Mini bands are also affordable and they follow the same principles of regular elastic bands, except that they can be used for different exercises that benefit from their small and loop design.

Recommended product from Amazon (UAE): https://amzn.to/3wsOjqy
This product was among the most affordable but best reviewed option in Amazon. We recommend having a set of bands with different resistances since each resistance can allow the individual to perform certain exercises more efficiently, as well as providing progress options as your fitness level improves.

That’s it!

If you work from an office, you don’t need any other fitness gadget! The goal from office exercises is to go for sweat-free and comfortable exercises that do not necessarily put you under the spotlight. If you work from home or an isolated office however, you can benefit from increasing our fitness arsenal by purchasing the following items:

Mat (https://amzn.to/3D3G9HI): having a mat provides the option to perform exercises while lying down. This mat in particular is a non-slip one that has been purchased and tested by the team, so it works better than other mats on most office floors.

Suspension trainer (TRX: https://amzn.to/3D28uxN): Suspension trainers provide the ultimate bodyweight workout. If you have your own private office, you can hook the TRX to the door and perform full body exercises with increasing or decreasing resistance, depending on your angle with the floor. Make sure you lock the door first so that no one opens it while you are exercising.

Resistance tubes (https://amzn.to/3bSU4nJ): similar to the elastic band option mentioned above, resistance tubes offer a wide range of exercises. The added value of having this item is in the various resistances provided, as well as the door handle which can provide a similar system as the suspension trainer mentioned above, the ankle wraps which can unlock certain lower body exercises, and the hand grips that can provide a more comfortable grip over the elastic band. The set suggested here has been bought and tested by the WellFit team and it stood the test of time and usage.

Suggested exercises

Resistance band exercises

Now that we discussed the equipment you can benefit from purchasing, let’s talk exercises. Our goal is to provide safe, practical, and low-key exercises that can boost your energy levels without requiring you to sweat or distract others. The following exercises can be performed with regular resistance bands or mini bands.

Reverse fly: reverse flies are among the few back exercises that you can do in the office while being seated and without doing any additional setup or arrangement. It may feel weird to do it at first, but it is no different than yawning or stretching your shoulders.

– Starting position:
• Raise arms straight to shoulder levels
• Position elastic band at chest level
– Finishing position:
• Move arms backward
• Squeeze shoulders towards each other
– Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each
– Hold for 2 seconds at the end of each repetition

Shoulder external rotation: this exercise targets the rear shoulder muscles, and you can do seated while attracting less attention at the office. It is recommended to use the mini band for this exercise, but the regular elastic band can also work.

– Starting position:
• Position mini band just above wrist level
• Bend your elbows 90 degrees with palms facing each other or down (personal preference)
– Finishing position:
• Stretch the elastic band to the sides while squeezing your shoulder blades backward
– Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each
– Hold for 2 seconds at the end of each repetition

Scapular retraction: another back exercise that can target the potentially sore upper back muscles from prolonged sitting. This exercise is preferred to be done using a mini band but can also be performed using a regular elastic band that is tied into a loop. Just make sure to tie a loop tight enough to start providing resistance from the beginning of the movement.

– Starting position:
• Position mini band just below elbow level
• Bring your shoulders 60-70 degrees forward
• Bend your elbows 90 degrees with palms facing each other
– Finishing position:
• Squeeze your shoulder blades backward while pushing your chest forward
• Stretch the elastic band to the sides while continuing to squeeze your shoulder blades backward
– Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each
– Hold for 2 seconds at the end of each repetition

Seated hip external rotation: this exercise can target the glute muscles among others while seated. The glutes can get sore from prolonged sitting; this exercise can increase the blood circulation around them and their capacity to handle stress. It can be performed regardless of the office setup and structure since the movement is almost unseen by other office workers, distracting no one and providing you a good exercise option.

– Starting position:
• Position mini band just above knee level
• Bend your knees and hips 90 degrees
– Finishing position:
• While keeping your feet flat on the floor, push your knees out as if you’re spreading the floor with them
– Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each
– Hold for 2 seconds at the end of each repetition

Desk-based exercises

The image below provides a series of stretches that you can perform at your desk. You can choose one exercises for each joint – neck, upper body, and lower body – and perform 3 repetitions of 3 seconds hold each. The optimal frequency to stay active during the day is to perform the exercises every 60-90 minutes of continuous static posture to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting and standing.

These exercises are just a sample of what can be done at the office. You can do much more with just your bodyweight but we will cover those in a separate article. We hope you can make good use out of these exercise and tips so that you can work well and prosper!

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