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7 Quick hacks to transform an inactive office lifestyle into a fit and awesome one

Let's face it, office really isn't a place where one can expect to outperform their athletic best. Really, with hours after hours of unnoticed sitting, bending over at the desk/monitor, being deafened by phone calls and experiencing worrying levels of Computer Vision Syndrome, office really gives us a really un-delicious menu to savor everyday.

If you are like me, the thought of turning the table upside down and finding out hacks for making things more in motion. Here's how you too can be one of the smartest and most sought after fitness inspiration without compromising your office deliverables.

And don't worry, your boss won't mind you doing them!

By the way, it does not include hotly dressed charming females being present as 'mood-en lighteners in office:

1. Frequent office perimeter walks.
I would have started with 'park your car four blocks away from office and walk your way to and from the office', but I figure the parking space in most IT parks is already too congested, so most of us are covered there. But even if you do not have any amount of walking in your office life, right from swipe in to swipe out, here's what you can do: about midway into your work day, lock your terminal and head out for a carefree and rejuvenating walk taking circles around your office building periphery. I may even suggest investing in a pedometer to count your steps every time and gauge some progress. It's a free of cost move which can restore a host of functions in your dormant body such as hip mobility, ankle mobility, blood circulation, breathing patterns(more on this shortly), boosting your metabolic rate and impart a sense of well being owing to the enjoyment of some fresh air and unseen/overlooked greenery around your campus, if your office is like this:
Infosys Campus, Mysore

2. Hydration breaks( or "I want to drink a lot of water so I can take a lot of pee breaks"): We are 70 percent water, right? Water occupies a majority of the mitochondrial volume inside your muscle cells. Drinking enough water might be the single best thing we can do to boost our success both in the gym or at the desk. From improving digestion to supporting a gamut of life supporting processes, ultimately resulting in the difference between that 405 pounds barbell rising up smoothly up from the floor or not in the gym next morning. I have even witnessed radically improved immunity after I almost doubled my water intake last summer. And then of course, the mobility walks resulting from the frequent visits to the loo are something we can live with!

3. Stand Up: The simplest approach to solve a problem is to find out what caused it in the first place; then seek to reverse the condition. Most occupational dysfunctions stem from prolonged sitting, an inevitable occupational hazard in the modern employment landscape. What must then be the quickest way to reverse the damage done by sitting to us?


Standing up frequently in between work can not only save your lumbar and cervical spine from the kyphosis(convex shaped curves) torture which sitting on your butt, slouched over a computer screen can result in. As you stand, all your joints, right from the tarsals and metatarsals of the toes, the ankles, the knees, the sacroiliac(hip) joints, the lumbar, thoracic, cervical spines reverse their state and counter the effects of chronic sitting. In fact, every time I stand, I witness a mild upliftment of my mood(maybe since all the office hotties can now notice me better). A great rule of thumb I came across in an article I have read long ago is to stand up for about 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

4. Shoulder check: Continuing from the previous point, let's say you are in a board room meeting and have no room to rally stand leisurely. You can still pay homage to the Gods of fitness by taking a look if you are rounding or slouching your shoulders anteriorly. If so, quickly pull your shoulder blades back and down. In the words of the legendary Gray Cook, Pack Your Shoulders. A more understandable hint would be pull your shoulder blades towards the opposite hips. A packed and stable shoulder structure such as this is a matrix that can safeguard our spine against most slouched posture related spinal deformations and is always a better way to sit than rounding up.
Sitting straight safeguards your spine and makes you look better!

5. Shake out the tension: I borrowed this term from Pavel Tsatsouline's Fast and Loose video series. While this approach entails shaking and waving off your hands and feet in between heavy sets of weight training exercises in order to release the amount of tension in these peripheral muscle groups and boost intra set recovery.

What it can mean on the office floor is releasing the amount of tightness accumulated in muscles such as the pectoralis minor(chest), the biceps, the hip flexors, the neck, forearms, legs etc.

The right way to shake would be to do a bunch of waves with your hands and see to it that the harmonic waves travel all the way to the shoulders. A similar action can be done by shaking the feet, all the way to the hip.

6. Breathe: Taking shallow breaths while being deep involved in critical tasks can be a deal breaker in the quest to stay fit and healthy for longer and correcting it by conscious effort to catch yourself breathing shallow every time and correcting it by taking deeper, fuller and 'stomach' breaths can tone down your office anger, and help you concentrate better on those numbers in your business report.
Here's how to breath correctly. May need a bit of getting used to, but well worth the labor. Trust me.

7. Prepare your own meals: Something which I myself am working on getting in my lifestyle. The premise behind this move is the seemingly limited menu available in most office cafetarias. Moreover, the restaurants and delis located around office spaces literally abound in labels such as McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Starbucks et al. Now, I am not sure about most of you but the last time I was choosing a long term physique/health friendly meal combo from these places, I had a really tough time.

I can already hear some of you whisper, "It's really ok to consume such binge choices once in a while, even if I am on a diet", which is a perfectly acceptable quip. However, we are talking about forming habits that can be undertaken on a daily basis and which account for the way we look and feel when done for a continued and long time. Moreover, we are talking about a population that spends its majority of time in the most unfit form of culture possible. Thus it makes sense to optimize our choices wherever possible.

7.Take the stairway to heaven: I am almost always out of my breath while climbing upwards of four floors in the office, even in the best of my shapes. Ditching the elevators during crowded hours can
also free you of the perils of waiting while the vast majority of the office goers use it. Using this free of cost natural stairmaster in the office can be a formidable move to improve your conditioning as well. Use it at our will; run the stairs, climb steadily or if time allows, do a sprint as well.

Enjoy these easy to follow hacks and believe me folks, office shall never be the same old lethargic place any more !