We used to get a lot more exercise as a natural part of our day. As hunter-gatherers, our survival depended on physical fitness, and we literally worked for our food. While plenty of jobs still require physical exertion -- the UPS person picks up a lot of heavy boxes in one day -- most use technology to do the heavy lifting. Since our bodies don't evolve as quickly as technology, obesity rates are climbing as we become more tied to our desks.
Physical activity is so important to health that it's at the top of the list, along with diet and prescription drugs, for prevention and treatment of many medical conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Exercise makes your heart and bones stronger (not to mention your muscles), lowers your blood pressure and relieves stress. Regular physical activity can help you live longer [source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services]. And, frankly, being fit makes you more attractive. Chalk it up to the natural glow that exercise imparts by increasing blood flow to all parts of your body.
These days, we have to work to fit exercise into our busy schedules. Alas, the exercise our fingers get from typing, clicking a mouse and texting is not enough. Since we can't all fit in an hour at the gym every day, here are five easy exercises you can do at (or near) your desk.