6 Office-Friendly Exercises
Sitting at a desk all day or being confined to an office can make finding time to exercise a real challenge. It’s not long before your back aches, your eyes are strained and your wrists throb from working on your computer. Try these six quick exercises that you can do mostly sitting down without drawing a lot of attention to yourself at work.
- Leg Lifts. While sitting with good posture and a tight abdomen, straighten your legs out until they touch the top of your desk. Repeat. Add some easy rolls of your ankles to loosen them as well.
- Arm Circles. Stretch both arms straight out and your hands facing up and move them in small circles forward. Flip your hands to face down and change direction making small circles backward. Repeat. Add some easy wrist rolls forward and backward to lessen the pressure caused by typing.
- Mini Press. Place your hands on the side of your chair so that your fingers hang over comfortably. Tighten your abdomen and buttocks and press down as if you were going to lift yourself. You don’t have to lift your body, just press. Repeat.
- Clench. Sit in good posture with a straight back, tight abdomen and tight buttocks. Push down with your shoulders while tightening your abdomen and buttocks as long as possible. Repeat.
- Wall Squat. While leaning against the wall, squat as far as you can and hold it. Ideally, you will achieve a 90 degree angle with your legs, but you may need to work up to that. Start with a comfortable 20 degrees. Keep your back straight.
- Accessorized Workouts. If you can, use cheap but high impact accessories to keep your muscles strong and loose. A hand grip fits into your desk drawer and is easy to use when you’re on the phone. A squeeze ball helps ward off carpal tunnel syndrome by keeping your wrists loose. A stretchy exercise band makes toning arm stretches easy and fits into your desk drawer. A handmaster exerciser helps flex your fingers outward and make your fingers, wrists and elbows stronger. A yoga ball can fit under your desk and be used by bouncing with tight abdomen and straight back when you are on the phone. A headset for your phone allows you to walk around and stretch while you are conducting business. A small hand weight is useful for arm repetitions or can be hooked over your foot for leg reps.
Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get up frequently and walk, drink water continually all day, take deep breaths, and move your neck from side to side and front-to-back. Take the lead in starting a fitness program at work so you’re not the only one doing mini exercises at your desk. Get the ball rolling with a fitness pool and have everyone chip in. Steps towards better fitness can begin simply by sitting down.