For the average American worker, sitting for the majority of the day is a given—whether that’s commuting to the office, working at your desk, or participating in meetings. Lots and lots of meetings—a study published in 2013 estimates an 11 million meetings take place everyday. That’s a crazy amount of time to spend glued to a chair!
The good news? Even if you can’t stand up and walk around the room, there are things you can do to be more active—without disrupting others in the conference room. Try these subtle exercises during your next meeting to improve circulation and lower blood pressure. Don’t worry, you won’t get any awkward glances from coworkers, but they might want to join in!
6 Easy Ways to Move More in a Meeting
Squeeze those glutes. This is an easy way to tone up in your seat: Squeeze your glutes for five seconds, then release for two seconds. Repeat until the muscles in your rear end are tired or the meeting has concluded.
Walk it out. Leading the meeting? Halfway through, ask colleagues to push away from the table, stand up, and walk clockwise around the table for 1 minute. Then turn, and step counterclockwise for another minute.
Stretch your neck. Simple stretches can help you feel more energized without causing a big distraction. Slowly tilt your head to the left until you feel a slight “pull,” or stretch. Hold for 5 seconds, then tilt your head to the right to stretch the other side side. Gently roll your head clockwise three times, then repeat in the other direction.
Tap your toes. If you’re sitting at a desk or table during a meeting, quietly tap your toes on the ground, alternating feet. These small but mighty movements will engage your shins and calves—and colleagues won’t even notice!
Lift your heels. Here’s another one that works your calves! Sit up in your chair and pull your abs in, keeping your toes on the floor, slowly lift your right heel and tighten your calf muscle. Release your heel back to the floor, then perform the move with your left heel. Do 15 reps on each side, then rest for 30 seconds; repeat for as long as you’d like.
Carve your core. Sit up straight in your chair and engage your abs to perform isometric contractions. Without holding your breath, tightly contract your abs and hold for a 5 seconds, then release; repeat for 5 minutes. Time will fly by, and your abs will thank you later!
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This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.