The bedouin-style web worker may get plenty of exercise thanks to a lifestyle of hopping from coffeeshop to co-working site. But the sad reality is that most web workers are also desk workers: we spend the day in front of our computers, sitting on our backsides. As a result, fitness does not run particularly high for web workers. What if you want to change that?
At a minimum, you need to invest time (and perhaps money) in basic ergonomics: choose your desk wisely, be nice to your eyes, and find a good chair. But then what? Assuming that you don’t want to spend the money on a Walkstation or Geek-a-Cycle, you can still improve your fitness in the office with some simple plans.1. Reduce tension and pain with stretching. That link leads to a page from the Michigan State University ergonomics folks. If you find yourself achy after a day at the computer, you may just be sitting too long in one position. Stretching exercises won’t make you stronger, but they will get you to a baseline point where you’re ready to move on from pain to health.
2. Isometrics instead of the gym. About.com hosts this page of excerpts from The Entrepreneur Diet with a set of exercises you can do right at your desk. With isometric exercises, you don’t bounce all over the place, but work your muscles against each other, your desk, and your chair. Sounds ineffective, but folks like The Great Samson swore by isometrics.
3. Get yourself active for more benefits. Ready to move on from isometrics but not sure what to do next? This page at wikiHow has a miscellaneous set of suggestions ranging from proper posture to hopping up to do pushups while you’re waiting for long downloads to finish. The key is to not assume that desk work has to make you 100% sedentary. Especially if you’re working at home, there’s no reason not to do a few jumping jacks the next time you’re rebooting.
Will this sort of desk-based exercise make you as buff as spending 5 nights a week at the gym? Probably not. But if your current status is “lump,” getting started with simple fitness steps will do you a world of good.