Let’s face it, sitting down at a desk all day often followed by a commute by car or bus isn’t doing wonders for your health. Linked to back pain, eye strain and obesity, the increase in sedentary lifestyles is not good for the body.
If you find yourself being chained to your desk with little or no time to stretch your legs during the working day, a few exercises between conference calls can help raise energy levels and aid relaxation. Even if you are a gym bunny by night, keeping active at your desk throughout the day can help.
Here’s what you can do with a few spare minutes and a desk chair, aiming to improve your posture to ultimately keep your health in check.
Take A Break
It is not always possible to get out of the office every lunchtime, but even a ten minute stroll can be beneficial for both body and mind. Try not to sit in the same position for more than 40 minutes without taking a break and your productivity levels should see an increase. Get up, walk to the water cooler and have a stretch.
Spending more face to face contact time with your colleagues can help too. Turn off email and put an end to calling colleagues within walking distance. Instead take a wander down the hall to speak to them directly.
Even when you aren’t exercising, how you sit at your desk can be influential in reducing back pain. It is important that the chair you are sitting on is supportive, and high enough so that feet are flat on the floor and legs bent at the knees. Try to keep your shoulders back and your back straight when possible. The monitor should be at eye level; if you need to look up or down then it’s time to adjust the screen.
It’s Finally Friday!
Celebrate that Friday has finally arrived, or rejoice a new client win with some celebatory jumps. Place your feet apart and step back onto your left foot, balancing your weight on the ball of the foot. Next lower yourself down into a lunge position and jump upwards. Change feet and repeat as time allows. If you’d rather not share this with the whole office, make the most of an empty board room for a less obvious approach.
If a more discreet approach to “deskercise” is your thing, then a quick and easy toning exercise on your bum can be done anytime, anywhere. Simply squeeze your buttocks for 5-10 seconds, release, then repeat. Done.
The Stapler Curl
If you have ever worked in an office you will know that staplers are highly coveted. Keep yours close to hand and double it up as a dumbbell. Starting at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest, similar to how you would normally do a bicep curl. If your stapler has gone walk about yet again, try using a water bottle.
Magic Carpet Ride
This works your core and arms. Sit in your chair with your legs crossed and your feet on the seat. Place your hands on the armrests and lift yourself off the seat and hold for up to 20 seconds. Take a rest in between exercises and repeat five times.
When deadlines loom exercise can quickly be pushed aside or forgotten- try setting yourself reminders in your calendar to keep on top of your new routine. Combine a number of these techniques and keep yourself regularly hydrated to see an increase in your health and happiness at the workplace.