/sites/assets/Assets/Article%20Images/2050_3.jpg?Width=970&Height=405

​Source: Fitness, Men's Health, 6 Setpember 2018 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

Sitting in the office all day is part of your job, sure. But that doesn’t mean you should literally just sit there all day.

A study published in the journal PLOS One has found that sitting for long periods is bad for you, and that reducing your sedentary time by just 21 minutes a day can help your health. By getting up to move, participants in the study experienced better health with lower blood sugar when fasted, a reduced risk in heart health, and maintained muscle mass in their legs.

Another study from the University of Sydney also revealed that sitting for over 11 hours a day actually increases your risk of mortality, so it’s definitely important to keep yourself active instead of being lazy.

“That morning walk or trip to the gym is still necessary, but it’s also important to avoid prolonged sitting. Our results suggest the time people spend sitting at home, work and in traffic should be reduced by standing or walking more,” said study lead Dr Hidde van der Ploeg.

What’s more, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (accounting for 6 percent of deaths globally), while being obesity and being overweight are responsible for 5 percent of global mortality.

To counter this, you should aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activities (MVPA) a week to combat the negative effects of inactivity in the long run. By engaging in moderate to vigorous activities for this recommended amount of time, such as brisk walking or playing a game of soccer, staying fit and healthy despite a busy work schedule won’t be a problem at all.

So what can you do to get yourself going? The easiest way to start is by making full use of your lunch break. Don’t worry; you’ll still have time for a bite. All you need is 15 minutes to get your blood pumping and heart racing, and you can do this with stuff you can find in your office easily.

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between moves. Perform 3 sets.

Squats with mineral water bottle cartons

Works your arms, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes

Hug the box tight against your chest like in a goblet squat. Keep your back straight and sit back, lowering your body into a squat. Return to a standing position. Your upper body should hardly move if you’re using your legs, hips, and lower back as a unit.

Stair sprints

Works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves

Sprint up the stairs as fast as possible, landing on every step. Slowly jog back to the start.

Alternating push-ups with photocopying machine paper

Works your pectorals, triceps and deltoids

Perform a push-up with your left hand on the paper and right hand on the ground. Then, from this starting position, lift your right hand and place it beside your left hand on top of the paper. Then move your left hand down to the floor so your hands are shoulder-width apart again. Perform another push-up. That’s 1 rep.

Chair dips

Works your triceps and core

Place both hands on the edge of the chair behind you. Lower your body until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Push yourself back up and straighten your arms back to the starting position. It is advisable that you use a stationery office chair or an office chair with locking wheels to perform this exercise.

Wall sits

Works your quadriceps and core

Slide your back down the wall until your hips and knees are at a 90-degree angle. Your shoulders, upper back, and back of your head should all be flat against the wall, and make sure to distribute your weight evenly throughout both feet. From there, raise one leg until it’s parallel to the ground and then return to your starting position. Alternate between both legs.

Read these next: