There are many ways to get fit and lose weight but, as with all things, it is simply a lot harder for some people to achieve than others. The group most prejudiced by society and just bad luck are office workers – the people who spend most of the day sat at their desk – who also happen to have cable television and broadband internet and DVDs. Madame Physique, the mysterious and ethereal patron ghost of weight-loss, has rolled her magical dice made from tightened abdominal muscles and rippling pectorals and they’ve come to rest on Snake Eyes for those who find the evening lure of the television and the internet holds sway after a long day of sitting down coding, typing, or secretly playing Bejeweled. You’d like to exercise, honest you would, but there’s just no time.
But now there is! Yes, you can exercise at work, at your desk, in the office, and get paid to do so! Now that’s the sort of exercise that appeals!
Okay, there are other sites out there that have talked about office exercises before, but they always involve you making it painfully obvious to everyone else that you’re attempting to fittenise (may not be a real word) your lifestyle. Try those sorts of exercises and become the butt of jokes in your office. A couple of days later and it’s time to kill your colleagues and then take your own life out of shame through Office Seppuku (a head-first charge at the photocopier). Not here. Now you can tone your body in private and each exercise has added bonuses too!
The Monitor Lift is great for your biceps or triceratops; whichever one isn’t a dinosaur. For this you will need a monitor of significant weight. A normal CRT monitor is perfect. Flat LCDs are pointless. The 21" Sun Workstation monitor I have at home that is seemingly factory-fitted with three inch-thick steel, a car battery to power the 1.21 gigawatt flux capacitor, and a sizeable lump of SuperLead for a laugh (twice as dense as normal lead but with all the same licking goodness) is only for the insanely mighty to use. Like me. I’m insane. Lift the front of your monitor up a fraction of a millimetre and slide a sheet of paper underneath the base. Now, stand up, bend at the knees, keep your back straight, put your two arms under the monitor, lift it straight up, and ask someone to retrieve your important blank sheet please. Once they have done this replace the monitor and repeat the process. You will be able to perform this task twice with the same person in any given day before you are tranquilised and wake up in a soft white room so the busier your office the better.
BONUS! The law of averages states that you will drop the monitor or tip it over while attempting to insert the sheet of paper at some point. New monitor for you!
This exercise will work the muscles of your arms and tighten your abdominal and thigh areas too. You’ll need a chair on castors for this. Sitting in your chair, raise your feet from the ground a couple of centimetres and grip the edge of the desk with both hands. Start with the thumb on top of the desk and your palm below it. Now push yourself away slowly, keeping hold of the edge of the desk, and keeping your back and feet straight. When your arms begin to lock out pull yourself back in again. Change the position of your hands so that your thumb is under the desk, perform the pushing and pulling motion again, then repeat.
Option: To avoid stares from colleagues who may suspect that you are suffering from an hallucination that sees you aboard a slave galley rowing to engage in war against the Etruscan army use a pen or pencil and continually "accidentally" drop the object on the floor. This will give you a valid reason for your actions – namely that you are a klutz who should be kept well away from the Cupboard Of Pointy Things in Reception – and will allow you to work on your abs too.
BONUS! Eventually you will push yourself too far, your chair will fly backwards at just under the speed of sound, and you will crack your skull or nose bone on the edge of the desk. Not only is bruising and scarring great for your image but paid time off work while your employers worry about you suing is the best kind of relaxation there is.
Spare Power Cord Chest Expander
You will need a spare power cord for this exercise. When nobody is looking start twisting and knotting the cable. If anyone is nearby you should then start muttering something along the lines of "I’m worried about the power supply to my PC. I don’t want to lose any of my precious work. I’ll stab the next person who uses the water I’ve boiled for my coffee. I wonder if I should replace the power cord for my computer. No leprechaun master, no!" Now attempt to unravel and straighten the cord. Keep your back straight and your arms level with your chest. Unravel and pull, and feel the stretching of your chest muscles. Do not worry about knotting or damaging the power cable. They are very strong and your office quite likely has several thousand of the things dotted around the place anyway.
BONUS! When you finally straighten the cable you will need to power down your machine in order to fit it. That’s time you’re not working! If you are a woman you can also "accidentally" brush the cable against your nipples while performing this exercise. It’s better than coffee at perking you up and will please any male colleagues too. An erect office is a happy office.
Seated Ab Crunch
Sit at your desk with a straight back and your feet planted firmly on the floor. Pull your stomach muscles inwards until you can pull them in no further. Now type a word. Keeping your muscles tight lean forward as if a phantom millipede has wandered onto your keyboard and disappeared between the ‘J’ and ‘U’ letters. Type another word. Lean back into the straight position and relax your muscles. Type a word. Repeat.
Option: Your imaginary millipede doesn’t always have to disappear between the letters ‘J’ and ‘U’; feel free to have it disappear anywhere you like or occasionally rise up from somewhere else for variety. Avoid subliminally typing the word ‘millipede’ excessively if possible.
BONUS! If you are a man it will seem as if you are receiving a blowjob under the desk. Depending on the type of desk it may appear to be a blowjob from a spooky ghost! If you are a woman it will seem as if you have vibrating balls secreted within your person. In either case, should anyone see you, your social standing in the company will increase and you will soon receive offers of promotion. Or you will be ostracised. But ostracised with fab abs!
Fan Tug O’ War
If you have a desk fan and want to work on your deltoids, leg, and hand muscles then you’ll love this exercise. With the fan off attach a cord of some type to one of the blades – a power cord, headphones, or your tie for instance. Grab hold of the other end, brace yourself, and switch the fan on. It’s now you versus mechanical appartus, just like God intended. Work your way up the settings for a good workout. To avoid suspicion and earn some privacy scream "The fan has trapped me! The machines are rising up! Run for your lives everyone!"
BONUS! In time you will learn the perfect technique for stopping not only fans but all forms of rotor blades too and will be able to prevent ships leaving port and planes taking off. Unless the planes are jet planes, when you will be sucked into the engine and mashed to a pulp.
That’s it for office exercises. If you know of any other exercising techniques you can perform privately at your desk that aren’t alleged to cause blindness and won’t get you featured on the next episode of America’s Most Pantsless Employees Caught On Camera then please feel free to leave them in the comments.