Do you sit at a desk all day? Those who do may find that sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause stiffness in their back, neck, and shoulders.
At jobs where we sit for long stretches, our only form of exercise is moving our mouse and typing on our keyboard. However, doing some stretches and exercises while you’re at your desk may help you relieve stiffness and stay active. Here are some simple stretches and exercises for you to try that can be done at your desk.
Do you know what happens when you sit for long periods of time? You get stiff. And when you’re stiff, it can really slow your productivity down. Even worse, prolonged sitting is linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This can also cause muscle soreness, as well as issues with your posture.
If you have a desk job that requires more than four hours of sitting, standing once per hour for five minutes may help you feel less stiff and sore. It might be a good idea to invest in an adjustable desk so that you can stand from time to time while still getting work done. Check out Herman Miller’s Atlas Office Landscape for one elegant solution.
2. Seated Leg Raises
You can do this without even having to get up from your chair, so you can do it even during a video call without anyone noticing!
Leg raises help to strengthen your core and lower body. All you have to do is extend one of your legs until it’s straight out in front of you and parallel to the floor. Hold this pose for a few seconds. Continue with the opposite leg. Complete 15 repetitions with each leg.
3. Chair Dips
Here’s another simple exercise you can do from your chair. It’s important to note, however, that you should only do this with chairs without wheels (so it doesn’t roll away from you).
Come up to the front of the chair, holding both hands forward. Keep your back as close to the chair as possible, while putting your palms on the chair and bending your elbows straight back. Straighten your arms to get back to the starting position. Do multiple sets of 15 repetitions.
4. Desk Push-ups
Exercises like this are great for the upper body.
Turn toward your desk while standing at least a meter away. Lean forward and place both hands shoulder-width apart on the edges of the desk while keeping your feet together. As you breathe in, lower your chest slowly towards the desk, and then push yourself back up again. Repeat as many times as you can.
5. Seated Calf Raises
These exercises not only make your calves stronger and leaner, but they are also super easy to perform at your desk.
Keep your feet hip-width apart as you sit in your chair. Bring your heels back so they are behind your knees. In this position, lift your heels off the ground and come up on your toes. Hold for a moment before gently lowering your heels. Repeat as necessary.
Placing some books or water bottles on your lap will give you some extra weight!