Being at a desk in front of a computer or paperwork from 9-5 is an open invitation to stress and weight gain. Luckily, there are a lot of exercises you can do at the office that can help relieve tension, tone your muscles, and keep you fit! Squeezing in these simple exercises while you’re at the office can make you healthier, more productive, and generally improve your well-being at work.
1. Do simple stretching exercises to prevent your body from feeling too stiff. Slowly flex your neck forward/backward and side to side. You can do this any time to relieve any tension. Remember never to roll your head around as this might injure your neck. To release tension from your shoulders, roll them forward ten times, then backward.
2. Regularly stretch your wrists especially after a lot of typing or writing. Slowly roll your wrists clockwise and counter clockwise to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Do the same with your ankles, too. This improves blood circulation and prevents the “pins and needles” sensation that occurs from sitting down for too long.
3. Stretch your calves while sitting down by lifting your legs to the balls of your feet and slowly setting them down. Repeat until your legs are comfortably tired. Doing this occasionally will help prevent blood clots on your legs.
4. To stretch your lower back, sit up straight and put your left arm behind the left hip. Slowly twist to the left and hold the position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat for the right side.
5. Remember to give your eyes a break from staring at a computer screen for hours. Every half hour or so, shift your eyes from the monitor to a different object in the room. Relax your peepers by rubbing your hands together, and placing them cupped over your closed eyes. These techniques help promote eye movement and can also lessen the chances for headaches.
6. Do leg extensions while you’re sitting down. Tuck in your abs and extend your left leg up until it’s level with your hip. Hold this for a few seconds and repeat, alternating with your right leg.
7. Start toning your inner thighs while working behind the desk. Remember to sit up tall and keep your abs tight. Place a water bottle or coffee mug (make sure it’s empty!) between your knees. Squeeze the bottle or mug tight, release halfway, then squeeze again. Repeat in slow pulses.
8. Stand up and walk around every half hour or so. Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you can. This facilitates blood circulation for your arms and legs, and keeps your body from feeling too strained.
9. When you get up to make copies, take advantage of the downtime by working out your legs. Stand with one leg straight, and bend the other leg back as if to kick your buttocks. Repeat for the other leg. You can also do calf raises by raising your heels off the floor, and lowering them slowly. These exercises stretch out your hamstrings and calves.
10. Observe proper posture while sitting down. Contract your abdomen, keep your back straight and shoulders level. This prevents neck and lower back pain, as well as effectively strengthens your core. Believe it or not, the conscious effort of sitting up straight can help tone your abs too!
See? These are just a few of the easy and simple exercises you can incorporate into your work routine. Tone up, keep fit, and become more productive during your daily grind.