Long hours in the office could leave little time to squeeze in regular workouts, but I’m going to share some desk exercises with you today… no more excuses for not working out!
Do you find yourself sitting down at a desk all day long? It’s not surprising because with modern technology you can do almost every task on the computer while seated at your desk. You can go shopping for the latest fashions, order food, email across the world or instant message a co-worker who’s just a few desks away. Our modern life requires less movement than ever before. Our bodies where designed to move and need to move every day, so here are a few desk exercises you can do right from the comfort of your office!
Technology allows us to be more efficient, but our bodies often pay the price. If you’re not moving, you can feel tired, stiff and sore. Offices aren’t necessarily designed to keep your body moving, but I’ll share some desk exercises that could help keep you energized throughout your days at the office.
You should try to accumulate 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a consecutive 30 minutes, so try to fit in five minutes whenever you get a chance even if it’s with a few desk exercises. Remember that five minutes may not sound like a lot of time but it’s better than zero minutes!
Take a few minutes right now for some desk exercises!
Desk exercises warm up: Stretches at your desk
Relieve stress and stretch away sore muscles with a simple routine that can be done in your chair before desk exercises. Stretch from head to toe, beginning with the neck:
• Slowly tilt head toward shoulder.
• Hold for ten seconds.
• Alternate sides.
Next, loosen up your shoulders to get rid of aches and to increase flexibility and strength:
• Roll both shoulders forward in a circular motion.
• Roll both shoulders backward in a circular motion.
• Repeat ten times.
Stretch your wrists to get ready for computer work:
• Stretch your arm out with palm down.
• With other hand, pull your fingers down.
• Hold for three seconds.
• Then pull up on fingers.
• Hold for three seconds.
• Repeat, alternating three times.
Relieve the tired feeling you get in your legs with ankle and calf stretches:
• Hold one foot off the floor with your leg straight.
• Flex your ankle by pointing your toes up.
• Extend your ankle by pointing your toes down.
• Do ten times and repeat with other leg.
• Next, draw a circle with your toes, moving one foot clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Change feet.
Desk exercise 1: Chair squats
Stand in front of your office chair with your feet shoulder width apart, and just mimic your sitting down action. Just as your butt touches the chair, stand back up and repeat. Be sure to lock the wheels if you have a movable chair! This exercise will tone and strengthen your lower body.
Desk exercise 2: Triceps dips on your chair
Sitting on your chair, place your hands on the chair for support and walk your feet out in front until you are in a position with your thighs parallel to the floor, and with your knees bent. Bend the arms at the elbow and lower your body down. Bend so that the elbows are going behind you and not out to the side. Lower a few inches, supporting your body weight with your arms, then push back to the starting point. This move will strengthen the triceps muscle at the back of your arm.
Desk exercise 3: Chair abs
You can work on your six-pack from your office chair! Sit back and ensure you are in a good sitting posture with a straight back. Simply place your hands behind your head and lift one knee toward your chest as you crunch, trying to touch opposite arm to opposite knee. This move will strengthen your core.
Have fun motivating your co-workers in the office and remember that moving during the day may help you to become more productive. For more moves you can do in your chair, check out my chair workout on YouTube.
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.