Five Easy Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk
How many hours do you sit down per day? According to a study by the American Journal of Epidemiology, if you’re anything like the average American you spend 55% of your waking hours sitting down. For those of us who work in an office a sedentary lifestyle is a tricky thing to avoid and yet the health risks of sitting too long are significant. People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease than people with standing jobs and 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits for less than 3 hours a day, even if they exercise. With that in mind it’s really important to try and keep your body active in any way you can throughout the day. These simple exercises will help you get on track while sitting at your office desk.
1) Shrug your shoulders
Not the best one to do in an important meeting but if you’re at your desk this is a really easy one to do. Simply raise both shoulders up towards your ears, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat this ten to fifteen times.
2) Glute seat squeeze
If you’re after an exercise which is extremely discreet the isometric glute exercise will be to your liking (and will get you toned). Simply squeeze your buttock muscles and hold for ten seconds then repeat for as many times as you like.
This one is technically at your desk (although you can imitate walking on the spot under your desk to get your ankles moving) but you should walk and stand up at every opportunity. If you’re having an informal chat or meeting with work colleagues stand up for it. A simple explanation of “I want to stretch out my legs for a minute” will be sufficient and may well encourage your other colleagues to stand (if practical). Get into the habit and standing meetings could help combat the sedentary lifestyle every day.
4) Abdominal work out
If you want to give your abs a bit of a work out you can do it from the comfort of your chair. Sit up with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Push your shoulders back, move the edge of the seat and put your hands on your arm rests or the edge of your chair (this generally works best on a chair without wheels if you can get hold of one). Keep your back straight, lift up your knees, bring them up to your chest and put them back down. If you want to challenge yourself then don’t let your feet touch the floor between each exercise. Repeat the process about six times or until you feel a bit tired.
5) Secret abdominal work out
If you want to work yours abs but the previous exercise is a bit showy for your liking then this exercise which again is all in your chair might be preferred. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, inhale and contract your abdominal muscles. Hold it for 10 to 20 seconds before relaxing and perform the contractions five to 10 times throughout the day.
These are just a few exercises to get you on the right track at work but there are many more out there you can try. Remember the key is to try and get out of your chair as much as possible or keep moving if you have to sit down for long periods.
Article courtesy of DPG form fittings