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Here's a confession. Many years ago, I worked tax seasons in the city, and often I would have to walk to my car in the parking garage, two blocks away, late at night. I never felt threatened, but the idea of walking alone in the city, late at night, did worry me a bit. At that time I had a really heavy stapler that lived on my desk. There were many nights when I would carry that stapler with me as I walked to the garage. I'm not sure what I would have done with the stapler had danger presented itself, but somehow I felt safer carrying that thing.

Gail Perry
Back extension with weights
Here's a new exercise for all of you folks out there who have brought a set of dumbbells into the office. Everyone else - you're not off the hook. Grab a work bag or even a heavy stapler - just something that weighs a couple of pounds.
  1. Stand up, next to your desk. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold your dumbbell or other weight in your right hand, in front of your right thigh.
  3. Keeping your back straight, begin to bend so that your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep your head up, looking to the front.
  4. Slowly lower the weight so it is close to but not touching the floor.
  5. As you lower the weight, lower your head slightly but not all the way down, and raise your right leg so that it too is parallel to the floor. Hold on to your desk with your left hand if you feel you might lose your balance. Remember to keep your back straight and left knee slightly bent.
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