Exercise is simply the act of keeping your body busy, using your muscles and bones while your heart keeps pumping. You may feel you have no time to do such things amid all the rapid-fire emails and conference calls. You’re not alone. But there are exercises you can do at work that will help you improve your body’s flexibility and strength with nothing but a few minutes of your spare time.

  1. Leg raise

Leg raises can easily be done at your desk. While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. Your legs should be parallel to the ground. You should also keep your toes pointed while you do this, drawing your abdominal muscles toward your spine.

  • Be sure to contract your abdominals and keep your back straight.
  • Keep your eyes and face directed straight in front of you.
  1. Take the stairs PHOTO ID: 30598762

Although it won’t offer the same benefits as running, walking up the stairs is definitely better than taking the elevator. If you need a harder workout, try taking the stairs two at a time — you’ll get a chance to stretch your legs more than you would otherwise. Stair climbing delivers the benefit of improving your cardiovascular fitness. Doing this every day at work can help with your health in the long-term

  1. Calf raises

Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Raise your heels off the floor and slowly lower them. The convenience of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere, anytime, even when you’re waiting at the printer. Just keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Lift as high as you can onto your toes and lower your heels down as much as your ankle flexibility allows.
  • Push evenly through the entire width of your foot.
  • Don’t push off from your big toe or the outside edge of your feet.
  1. Walking PHOTO ID: 73106863

Walk down the hallway as fast as you can without actually running, then turn around and walk back up. Keep doing this for 5 or 10 minutes. This is the perfect exercise to do when you take your tea break and want to do something other than sitting. Just make sure you watch where you’re walking so you don’t accidently walk straight into one of your colleagues.

  1. Water bottle weights

Water is actually quite heavy. This means that you can use a full bottle of water as a weight. A one litre bottle would work well, but you can also use a 500ml bottle. You can use the water bottle to do front raises, overhead presses and bicep curls while sitting at your desk. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to interrupt your usual work routine to get some movement and exercise. If you’re unsure where to start, you can simply do a few bicep curls by holding the water bottle in one hand and raising it towards you while keeping your elbow stationary.

5 Simple exercises you can do at work
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