Examples of 'Bite Size' Activities
Bite size activities are chunks of 10 minute physical activity that can easily be done in and around the working day, and the opportunities are endless. Here are just a few examples.
Keepy Uppy challenge – how many times can you keepy uppy a football?
Press Up or Plank Challenge – how many can you do in 1 minute or how long can you hold a plank for?
Racket Rally – grab a badminton racket and see how many times you can hit the shuttlecock between yourself and a colleague before dropping it. If you don't have the equipment, a notepad and a rolled up ball of paper can work too!
Crazy Catch – how many times can you throw a tennis ball against a wall and catch it with the opposite hand?
Table Tennis - 'Around the World'
Table Tennis can be played on any table that you have in the office and is a great way to get lots of people active and having fun for a short while. Read on to find out how to set up a version of table tennis that everyone can play.
Around the World:
- Form two queues (even numbers if possible) at each end of the table.
- Player 1 starts the game with a simple serve and then runs around the table to join the queue at the other end.
- First player at the other end returns the ball and then runs around the table to join the queue at the other end.
- Play is continuous with one hit per player as players run around the table until a mistake is made.
- Player who makes a mistake is 'out'.
- When only two players remain, play one 'normal' point to determine the winner.
Order an Instant Ping set from Table Tennis England. The pack brings sport to your office and includes a roll net that takes seconds to set up and can attach to almost any table, so all you need to have is a spare desk.
Sitting at a desk for hours on end places unnecessary strain on the lumbar spine, overstretches the mid to upper back and shortens the chest and hips.
It is no surprise that many office workers complain of neck, shoulder and low back pain. Try this simple office yoga sequence:
- Seated crescent moon pose – lift your arms overhead and stretch your fingers wide. Lean to the right, taking 2 to 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the left side for another 2 to 3 deep breaths. The pose helps to lengthen your spine and reduce shoulder and neck discomfort.
- Wrist and finger stretches – working at a desk builds up tension in the muscles and tendons in the fingers, hands and wrists, so extra blood flow to these areas is beneficial. Extend the arms to the sides or overhead and draw 5 to 10 circles inward and outward through the wrists. Quickly spread the fingers and close the fists, repeating this 5 to 10 times to shake off any excess tension.
- Chair pigeon pose – the chair pigeon helps to rebalance our hips and lower spine. Cross your right leg over the left at a 90 degree angle, keeping the foot flexed as to not place pressure on the knee. Hold 5 to 10 breaths before switching sides.
- Sit and stand chair pose – when we are seated all day, the underused glutes and hamstrings mean we rely on the upper back and neck to hoist the body to a standing position. Begin seated with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat. Press down from your heels trying not to move the feet in toward your chair or use your arms and make your way up to standing. Slowly sit back down without leaning forward. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Resistance Band Training
Lateral raise: Stand up, place both feet in the middle of the resistance band and hold each end of it with your hands. Raise both arms to the side, until they reach shoulder height, then return to your starting position and repeat ten times.
Squats: Place both feet on the middle of the resistance band and hold each end of it with your hands. Slowly bend your knees into a squatting position, then return to your starting position and repeat ten times.
Chest press: Sit or stand and put the resistance band behind your back and hold each end of it. Stretch both arms out in front of your chest, then return to your starting position and repeat 10 times.
Leg press: Sit on a chair with your back straight. Place one foot in the middle of the resistance band and hold both ends of it with your hands. Bend your knee towards you, then straighten in back out in front of you before returning to your starting position and repeating with each leg ten times.
Bicep curls: Sit or stand, place both feet on the middle of the resistance band and hold each end of it with your hands. Raise your arms out in front of you to chest height, then return to your starting position and repeat 10 times.
You can pick up resistance bands for no cost at all. It is a cost effective way to be active for short periods of time.
TOP TIP: Set a reminder on everyone's calendar every hour on the hour, and ask colleagues to stop work and do one of these exercises. It takes less than 3 minutes of your time and is likely to re-energize your staff so that they work better and more productively.
10 Minute Cardio Workout
- Rocket jumps – 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps. Stand with feet hip width apart, legs bent and hands on your thighs. Jump up, driving your hands straight above your head and extending your entire body. Land softly, reposition your feet and repeat.
- Star jumps – 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps. Stand tall with your arms by your side and knees slightly bent. Jump up, extending your arms and legs out into a star shape. Land softly with your knees together and hands by your side. Keep your abs tight and back straight.
- Squats – 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and your hands down by your sides or stretched out in front for extra balance. Lower yourself by bending your knees until they are nearly at a right angle, with your thighs parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and don't let your knees extend over your toes.
- Burpees – 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps. Drop into a squat with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a push up position. Jump your feet back into a squat and jump up with your arms extending overhead.
- Recovery - In between each exercise set recover with 15 to 45 seconds of walking or jogging.