Want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime? Following our advice would be a good place to start. Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

6 upper body desk exercises to keep you fit and healthy

How to do the tricep dip, the bicep curl and other useful training tips.

WORK LONG DAYS and can’t get the time or the energy to make the gym before or afterwards? Better you than us, but we’re here to help.

Research has shown that as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can prevent weight gain — provided the exercises are done properly, and to a high intensity. What’s better is the half an hour can be broken down into 3 x 10 minute efforts, or 2 x 15.

So, if you’re surgically attached to the desk and fear you’re slowly morphing into mush, do these five upper-body exercises in every 10-minute effort, three times a day. You’ll look better, and most definitely feel better. Just open a window to allow some fresh air in…

1) The tricep dip

The oldest trick in the book to carve those flabby wings into toned, defined arms. Sitting at your desk, place your hands around the seat of the chair and edge yourself forwards so that your bum is off the chair and suspended above the floor. Extend your legs straight out in front, or if you can’t support this weight, bring your feet closer and plant them on the floor so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Now, lower your bum to the floor and hold for three seconds, before lifting. Repeat 25 times.

2) Bicep curl

Bring your chair close to the desk. Straighten your back and bring your shoulders back to a neutral position (you must not slouch for this). Now, very simply, with one hand, clasp the desk and try to lift it up, assuming you absolutely cannot do this easily. To make the exercise harder, raise the height of your chair so that instead of your forearm being at 90 degrees, it could be at 120 degrees of extension, or even more. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times, alternating hands.

Exercising While Working AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

(Working and keeping fit are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, illustrates above)

3) Shoulder shrug

While sitting upright, grab either side of the chair as though you’re trying to lift yourself. Hold tightly for 10-15 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest and go again for 15 repetitions. Don’t forget to breathe!

4) Lateral raise

Another one for the shoulders you sit at your desk, facing forward, but turn the chair to the left so that your computer is immediately on your left. Straighten your left arm and press it up against the desk without bending or flexing it. You are effectively pushing the desk away from yourself, or at least trying. Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 15 times before doing the same for the right-hand side.

Japan Health AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

(Exercising at work is by no means a new phenomenon — in the file pic below, Mitsui Bank clerks do fatigue-relieving exercises at their desks in Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 1963)

5) Lower back

This is more of a stretch than an exercise but will help prevent tight hamstrings and align your posture correctly. Sitting tall, keep your back off of the back of the chair, then engage the abs in and up, and lengthen through the top of the head as you begin to twist to one side. Turn from the lower back first, then the middle back, then upper back. Do this slowly, taking 10 seconds to do the stretch properly. Breathe throughout.

There you have it. We’ll have the lower body equivalent to you soon….

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