Pain Free Working

The Benefits of Exercise for Desk Jobs

According to studies, a person spends about 8 to 9 hours a day sitting. If you have a desk job, you pretty much spend most of your day on your office chair, dealing away with documents, meetings, deadlines, and the like. Since most people who work desk jobs have a packed schedule with working throughout the day and then finally getting home to rest with no time to do other things, this has led to people living sedentary lifestyles.

Most office workers have a 9 to 5 schedule, using up their energy at work and feeling exhausted at the end of the day. With a busy lifestyle and schedule, one can just imagine how difficult it is to stay active or even do a quick gym session. Desk workers would rather spend their free time resting from a stressful day rather than doing any kind of exercise. 

Unfortunately, sitting around and doing the same thing over and over each day for long hours can impact the overall health of a person. It can lead to numerous health risks such as chronic aches, bad posture, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. Don’t fret though, for these health issues can still be avoided.

The health and fitness industry has taken to helping solve this problem of lack of physical activity by suggesting to workout at work. Now, that may sound odd to you, but trust the experts when they say that regular movement at your desk over intermittent exercise helps more with your overall well-being in so many ways. Interested in finding out how? Let’s dive into the article!

Why Is It Important to Exercise At Work?

We’ve already established that sitting for long periods at work can lead to numerous health issues over time. Not everyone can hit the gym or do a regular exercise routine in their day-to-day life, especially if they’re bogged down with stacks upon stacks of work. The next best thing that these workers can do to reduce their excessive sedentary time and get their body moving is to have an exercise routine at work.

Doing small exercises at work actually has a positive effect on your health, body, and mind. According to a study, doing any exercise at work not only lessens health problems but also has mental benefits as well. Those who exercise at work were found to have good posture, increased productivity, a better mental performance, and an improved overall work performance than those who didn’t. 

Taking regular breaks at work and incorporating an exercise or two can keep your blood flowing, clear your mind, and undo the kinks and knots in your muscles. All of these little movements can lead to a better impact on your overall quality of life. 

How Much Physical Activity Should You Do if You Have a Desk Job?

According to the CDC, it’s recommended to have an average of 150 minutes of physical activity in a week. To meet the standard number set by the CDC, you can do 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity at work. From a study presented by sports medicine researchers, results have shown that those who did workouts for 30 to 60 minutes while at work had a 15% performance boost, giving them the ability to meet deadlines and avoid post-lunch slump. Now, you may be asking, how is it possible to squeeze that amount in when you’re busy at your desk joining a conference call or typing away to catch up to a deadline? 

It’s very easy and not impossible at all! There are many ways that you can stay active at your desk. Ergonomic office furniture such as a standing desk or an adjustable desk converter can help you adopt a sit-stand method of working where you shift positions every one hour. Doing so can give you a balance between sitting and standing throughout the day. If you want to take it up a notch, you can also switch sitting between your regular task chair and an exercise ball as the exercise ball can help engage your core and improve your posture. 

You can also give your glutes and hips a break by getting up from your desk to take a short walk around the office. Taking the stairs to your office floor can also be a great way to get more exercise and reduce your time spent being sedentary. 

Aside from those, one of the best things to do to stay active is to exercise at your desk. You don’t need any dumbbells, an exercise ball, or other exercise equipment to have a good workout at your desk. There are numerous sitting exercises available for you to do throughout the day. 

What Exercises Can I Do at My Desk During Lunch Break?

There are several exercises that you can do to reduce your physical inactivity. All you’ll need is your desk and your office chair. Check out these exercises:

Shoulder Shrugs

This is an aerobic exercise that doesn’t need any equipment for you to do. Simply raise both your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat for a couple of times to release the tension in your muscles.

Calf Raises

To do this exercise, stand tall and hold your chair or desk for balance. This is your starting position. Next, rise up onto your toes, hold for a moment, and then lower your heels back to the floor. Repeat this for at least 10 times. 

Desk Pushups

For your starting position, face your desk and lean against it with your hands on the surface or the edge of your table. Your hands must be positioned wider than your shoulders and your arms must be straight. Lower yourself until your chest almost reaches your desk, and then return to starting position. Repeat the push-ups at least 10 reps. 

Leg Lifts

This exercise can help with your core, quads, and hip flexors. To start off, sit tall in your chair. Lift one leg straight until your hamstring is raised off your seat. Hold the position for at least 20 seconds and then lower your leg. Repeat the same motions with your other leg.

Seated Leg Extensions

Sit tall with your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg until it’s parallel with the floor and straighten it out in front of you by squeezing the muscles on the front of your upper thigh. Hold for a second, lower your leg, and then return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 times on each side.

Stop being physically inactive and start being active with these simple deck exercises. You can even rope in your co-workers to do them with you so that all of you gain the benefit of having a healthier lifestyle while at work. Always remember that if you experience discomfort, seek a professional who can provide medical advice and guide you better in your journey to a better you.

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.