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Benefits of Stretching
How to Stretch
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Hand, Wrist and
Forearm Stretches
Copy Machine Stretches
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Stretching Software:
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How to Lift
Office Exercises
On-the-Job Program
The Busy Day
Weightlifting to
Lose Weight
Stories from Bill Pearl
Weightlifting Books
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Quick Walks
How to Walk
Fitness from Walking
Calories Burned Walking
Moderate Exercise
Exercise in the Office
Exercise Needn't Hurt!
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Office Exercises

Sitting much of the day causes loss of muscle tone due to inactivity. Here are a few light muscle-stretching exercises from four-time Mr. Universe, Bill Pearl. They can be done in the office with no equipment. (This is weight training without the weights— using only your body weight.) Use your imagination for other things you can do.

Here are pages 58 and 59 from our fitness book, Stretching in the Office by Bob Anderson and illustrated by Jean Anderson, authors of Stretching.

To download a good screen-size print-out, click on the image below. This pdf version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download) for viewing. It will allow laser quality printed output and clear viewing onscreen at any magnification.

from: Stretching in the Office © 2002
Shelter Publications, Inc., Bolinas, CA


Sitting for long periods is a very recent phenomenon in human history. Many health problems of the modern world are either caused by or aggravated by the sedentary life.

In recent years, exercise has been shown to have beneficial effects for a variety of medical problems. From arthritis to back pain (the recommendation used to be “stay in bed”) to osteoporosis to cancer. Likewise, moving exercise can help decrease the chances of contracting office-related injuries and, if done sensibly, can help heal symptoms and speed recovery.


In the last two decades, there has been an overemphasis on strenuous workouts in America. Running marathons, intense aerobic dance classes, competitive cycling, and swimming were often touted as necessary for good health. Experience has shown, however, that most people will not stick with an exercise program that is too strenuous. More recent studies show that even mild exercise, such as walking 10 minutes a day, can do a world of good. Or as Dr. Steven Blair puts it in his book Living With Exercise, “Standing is better than sitting, moving is better than standing…” If you have been sedentary for some time, try walking 5 minutes; then the next day 6 minutes, and so on. Or walk around the house during TV commercials.

Here are a few ideas for building some physical activity into your daily life.


• Take mini-walks - Walk during coffee breaks. Arrange a walk-and-talk instead of a sit-and-talk meeting.
• Climb stairs Walk at least some of the distance up or down in office buildings.
• Park and walk - Park farther away from the office (or the store when shopping), instead of trying to get as close as possible.
• Walk on your lunch break - You’ll return refreshed. Wear comfortable shoes.
• Move while on the phone - Stand and move around while talking on the phone. Do some stretches. (See p. 31.)
• Swing your arms, turn your neck, or wiggle your toes — any kind of movement helps.


Use off-the-job time to exercise neglected muscles rather than straining those that are already overworked. Be creative.

  1. Stretching for flexibility 
  1. Lifting for strength 
  1. Moving for stronger heart and lungs and better circulation
These activites are designed to be done in and around the office.

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