Working long hours every day of the week has given a lot of us very little time to exercise. Without much physical activity, our muscles and joints can become weak and deteriorate, leading to the development of body aches, pains, and a host of health issues.
A good solution to avoid health ailments that come with sitting at work for long periods is to simply start incorporating more movement throughout your day. We rounded up a couple of basic office exercises that can help offset the effects of being stuck at your desk. The more you move using these simple exercises, the better you’ll feel. Try them out!
Simple Office Exercises
A lack of physical activity doesn’t only impact your health but it also affects your performance at work. When you’re experiencing pain, you can become stressed and this can make you lose your focus and lower your productivity. Incorporating movements throughout your day by doing simple exercises can help reduce the risk of inflammation and loosen the tightness in your muscles.
Moreover, doing basic exercises allows throughout your work day allows you to take regular breaks, helping you refresh your mind. Don’t worry, you don’t need any equipment to do these exercises. All you need is your chair, your desk, and yourself.
If you work a desk job, you probably spend most of your day typing. The repeated motions of typing can cause an ache in the hands, especially your fingers. A simple finger stretch that you can do is to put your hands on your table or any other hard surface.
Next, fully extend your fingers, making sure that they’re touching each other. Afterward, spread your fingers apart as far as possible and hold this position for a couple of seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise 20 times.
You can strengthen your lower body in between your tasks. While seated, lift yourself up until your hips are just hovering over your chair. Next, extend your arms in front of you for balance. Hold the position for 2 to 3 seconds, and then stand all the way up. Repeat for 16 reps.
If you have a swivel chair, you’re in luck as you can use it to your advantage with this workout. Sit upright with your feet hovering over the floor. Hold onto the edge of your desk. Engage your core as you swivel the chair from side to side. Do this 15 times.
If you don’t have a swivel chair, worry not for you can still do oblique twists to improve your abs. Sit upright on the edge of your chair, with your feet flat on the floor, slightly apart. Fold your arms across your chest. Take a deep breath, exhale, and then slowly turn your shoulders so that you’re looking to the right.
Hold this position for 2 seconds, and then return to the middle. Take a deep breath once more, exhale, and this time, turn towards your left. Make sure that you keep your core engaged throughout the exercise. Repeat as much as you want.
Upper Back Stretch
Backaches are one of the most common sitting-related health issues that desk workers experience. This exercise can help release the tension accumulated in the lumbar area.
Hold your arms out straight in front of you, palms facing down. Next, lower your head in line with your arms, and then round your upper back while looking down at the floor. Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths, and repeat as many times as you’d like.
Getting up from your desk once in a while is a great way to involve more movement in your day. An exercise that can help strengthen your legs is calf raises. To do this, get on your feet and keep your upper body as straight as you can.
Raise your heels a few inches from the ground. Hold the position for a couple of seconds, and then return to the starting position slowly. You can use your chair or the edge of your desk for support and balance.
You can still tone your triceps even when you’re at work by doing desk pushups. Do make sure that your desk is sturdy enough to support your body weight. Take a few steps back from your desk, and then place your hands flat on the tabletop, shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower yourself down toward your desk, keeping your core tight. Next, slowly push back up until your arms are straight but not locked. Do about 20 reps.
Standing Rear Pulses
The risk of developing blood clots in the legs is pretty high if you sit for too long. Shaking your legs off by exercising can help increase blood circulation in your body. To do this, stand and hold on to the edge of your desk for support, bending one leg behind you. Flex your foot as you raise your heel up a few inches. Slightly release the flex, and press your foot back. Alternate between lifting your heel and pressing it back, as if you’re doing a pulsing motion. Do 20 reps, and then switch sides.
Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch
Shoulder stretches can release tension and reduce back pain. For this exercise, you can stand or stay seated. If you’re standing, make sure to position your feet hip-width apart. Begin the exercise by stretching your right arm straight. Next, bring your right arm across the body, with your hand pointing to the floor on the other side of the left leg.
Bend your left arm at the elbow, and then hook your left forearm under your right arm. Use your left forearm to gently pull your right arm further in and across your body, stretching the back of the right shoulder. Hold the pose for 20 seconds, and then repeat the stretch on the other side.
Exercising regularly can help prevent tightness all over the body. Even if you’re stuck at your desk all day, you can incorporate more movements by doing simple and basic exercises in between your tasks. Remember, any movement, even the smallest one, is better than none. So do your health a favor and start exercising at work today!