Five Desk Exercises to Stay on Top of Your Office Fitness

The American workplace, as it currently stands, can contribute to all sorts of health concerns. Since the 1960s, the amount of jobs that require moderate to intense physical activity has sharply declined. The rise of the modern office workplace is responsible for this decline; many of us spend the great majority of our workday sitting in front of our computers. Unfortunately, the sedentary nature of these positions can contribute to obesity, back problems, and other health issues. Just because you’re sitting all day, however, doesn’t mean you can’t be simultaneously getting some exercise. With just a few simple exercises, you can be working on your fitness while you’re working at your desk! First things first, though…posture is important! You want to keep your chair at an optimum height, so that you’re not hunching over your computer’s monitor. Your knees and hips should be bent at straight, 90 degree angles, and your back should be flat against your chair to maintain erect posture. Now, you’re ready for exercises. 1. Boost your usual routines

You can get exercise in at your office without having to think too much about it. If you normally take the elevator rather than climb a few flights of stairs, take the stairs instead. When you go to the restroom, walk to a further one rather than the one right by your office. And, when you take a break, don’t just go sit in the lunchroom – take a walk around the office, or take a trip outside if it’s a nice day! You can also walk over to your coworkers and have a conversation, rather than just send an email.

2. In-chair workouts

Just because you’re sitting in front of your computer doesn’t mean you can’t still be working out.

Leg raises can help tighten up your abdominal muscles. Sitting straight in your chair (remember the posture we mentioned above), slowly raise your right leg so that is aligned in a straight line with your hips. Hold it there for ten seconds, then slowly lower it to the floor. Repeat this 10-15 times, and then switch to your other leg.

Desk lifts are essentially a form of calisthenics that can help strengthen your arms. While sitting, put your hands under your desk (assuming it is too heavy to actually lift) and press up against it as if you are trying to lift it.

3. Neck exercises

To reduce neck stiffness and pain, you can easily do neck rolls as you work to keep your neck limber. Start with your head facing forward and upright as normal – then tip your head to one side and hold it there a few seconds. Next, roll your head forward so that you are looking down at your chest. Finally, tip your head to the other side and hold it before returning to normal.

You can do this a few times a day to reduce neck tension.

4. Back exercises

Sit on an armless chair or a stool. While sitting up straight, pull together your shoulder blades and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 5 times. You can do this twice a day to prevent pain and tension from building up.

Begin by sitting up straight, and lift one of your glutes up from the chair, then sit back down and repeat the process on the other side. Do this in a continuous motion, from side to side, for 30-60 seconds. This exercise can give you relief for an achy lower back.

With these few exercises, you can start building a regiment at your work. Sometimes, simple exercises using only everyday equipment can help us maintain our health and relieve pain or tension. Many people complain that they don’t have the time to exercise during the day – but if you are at the office 8 hours a day, you probably have the time to work these exercises into your daily routine.
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