Scientific research is revealing that sedentary office workers are damaging their health by sitting all day. A desk job, which requires little to no physical movement, is being linked to many health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and depression.
Fortunately, researches are also discovering what you can do to reduce the dreaded effects of sitting. The recommendations are that you should try to move around at least once per hour and have a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
Another thing you should do that could help is deskercise! A quick stretching and exercise routine at your desk might improve your strength and concentration and keep you healthy.
Check out the deskercises below that you can do right now at your desk. No matter how you distribute these moves throughout your day, they'll help you stay healthier and fight the negative effects of prolonged sitting.
1. Calf Raises
Stand up behind your chair and hold on it for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. You can do three sets of 10.
2. Side stretch
Sit up straight in your chair and raise your arm towards the ceiling, grab your left wrist with your right hand and pull it to the right. You should feel a stretch down your left side, hold for 10 seconds. Switch arms and repeat on your other side.
3. The Abs Squeeze
This is another silent exercise you can do at your desk. This one can be done when walking down the hall or even when seated during a meeting. Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds then release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
4. Wall Sit
Another great isometric move. Stand with your back against the wall then slowly lower yourself into a seated position and hold for 10–30 seconds at a time.
5. Leg lifts
This move can be done undercover. While sitting at your desk, extend one leg in front of you and hold it for 20 seconds, then repeat with the other leg. For an added challenge, make small circles with the foot of the extended leg. Aim for five to 10 circles in both directions.
6. Hamstring Stretch
This move has multiple benefits; it stretches the hamstrings, lower back, and calf muscles. Push your chair away from your desk, and then put your leg up on your desk. Flex your foot and lean forward but keep your back straight. Hold the position for 10 seconds then repeat with the other leg.
7. Triceps dips
Triceps dips can be done almost anywhere, including a cubicle. Using a non-rolling/moving chair, sit at the very edge and place hands on either side of the body while gripping the chair’s edge. With the feet planted on the floor a step or two away from the chair, straighten up the arms to lift up the body. Next, bend the arms to reach a 90-degree angle so that your body dips down, hold, and re-straighten while keeping the body raised above the chair. Complete 8-10 reps.
By Roba Al-Assi
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