How to Exercise at Your Desk

Posted by steve brielmaier on

Many office workers stay stuck to their office chairs facing their computer monitors all day long. If this sounds familiar, you may not realize that sitting for prolonged periods is actually bad for your health. Among immediately obvious harmful effects of sitting for extended periods are backaches and eye strain. But research shows that lurking dangers lead to hordes of illnesses and long-term physical conditions. Statistics show that people who sit a lot are likely to suffer from a heart attack 54% more than those who don’t.  Plus, people are 64% more likely to die from heart attack if they sit for more than 23 hours a week. This is why office workers have to incorporate exercises while they are in their office cubicles.

Here are some tips you can follow so that you can preserve your health and stay fit (even if you decide to stay in your chair and are not ready to try standing at work.)

While sitting

Observing proper sitting posture is a great start.  Proper alignment keeps the back straight, which will help prevent back problems from ever becoming an issue for you. Additionally, sitting properly keeps you from developing stiff neck.

So, how can you exercise at your desk?

  • Do simple stretches

Stretches while you are sitting keep your body from feeling stiff. As such, be sure to remember to stretch your arms, neck, shoulders legs, and torso while working at your desk.

-          Neck: Bend your neck slowly, side to side, back to front. You can also turn your neck to the right and to the left. You can do this simple exercise when you feel stressed by a task.

-          Shoulders: To relieve tension from your shoulders, you can roll the shoulders forward and backward. Do this ten times in each direction.

-          Arms: Stretch your arms in front of you and slowly hold onto the edge of the desk. Lean closer to your desk afterward.

-          Chest and abdomen: Puff up your chest the moment you feel that you have hunched your body over the computer keyboard. The key is to pull the shoulders back to counter the effect of hunching over. Regarding your belly area, you can contract the muscles, and hold the position for a few counts and release.

-          Legs (calves and ankles): Your calves can benefit from leg lifts using the balls of your feet while sitting on the chair. This will keep blood clots from forming. Your ankles can also benefit from twists to the right and to the left.

While standing

Fact: The human body is not meant to stay in one position all throughout the day. Furthermore, it is not intended to stay seated the whole time. This means that all of you office workers out there should spend a lot of time away from the chair and exercise for good health. The ideal amount of time that you should get up from your chair is hourly, taking around ten minutes of standing.

Here are some exercises you can do while standing.

  • Breathe in an out

While standing, you can do breathing exercises. Breathe in, hold your breath for a few seconds and breathe out. This will get fresh air flowing into your lungs and to your whole body.

  • Stretch your back

This is a very simple exercise that requires you to put your hands on the area above your buttocks. Your aim should be to stretch your torso backward. This will relieve some of the tension that has built up while you were seated.

  • Do a crouching position

You can do this with your feet apart, around the width of your shoulders. With your back straight, you need to crouch as low as you can. This gives your body a good stretch.

  • Exercise your hands with a hand gripper

If your task only needs you to read manuscripts, you can get up and give you hands a workout with the hand gripper.

In a nutshell, office workers do not have to suffer the consequences of being stuck in the office all day.  Whatever you do – be it sitting or standing – make sure you are doing something to stay healthy.

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