Spending hours a day in front of a computer is now part of almost every job description. Combine that with a commute, meal times, and entertainment, and the average person can spend up to nine hours a day in a chair. It is no wonder people reach the end of their work week feeling stiff and tired.
Sitting down for extended periods is bad for your health. In fact, scientists have linked sedentary lifestyles with heart disease and diabetes. Fortunately, there is a way to stay fit at your desk. Simple, easy, and designed for doing at a desk, these short movements are a great way to keep moving for those who cannot get out of the office.
Do Desk Yoga
Stretching helps keep your blood flowing and prevents you from sitting too long. Some stretching moves also help improve your posture.
Desk yoga requires no special materials, nor does it mean embarrassing yourself in front of your colleagues. Just do some simple in-chair postures, like a seated twist, seated backbend, and wrist release.
Perfect for those with open office plans or anyone new to desk exercising, these are the same postures you would perform in a normal yoga class, and they translate well into the work place.
Take Breaks Every Hour
It’s easy to sit at a desk all day and never move. Combat this tendency by setting an alarm to get up and walk around every hour. This will get you up and moving, which is great for posture, circulation, and burning a few extra calories. It will also help improve productivity by giving you opportunities to refocus.
Do an Ab Workout
Sitting provides opportunities to improve your abdominal wall. Use those opportunities to engage your abs in different ways.
Start by performing a low key exercise like the Ab Lift. Place both hands on the seat of your chair. Keep your knees bent and use your arms to life yourself off the seat while trying to lift your knees as high as possible.
Remember, the most important thing about office workouts is time efficiency. That’s why you should think outside the box. For example, one option is to buy a special cushion for your chair. A wobble cushion on your chair helps you work your abs all day by forcing your body to balance and stimulating your core muscles. It is a way to work out without having to work out.
Exercise with Your Chair
Chairs are good for more than sitting. They also make excellent exercise props. Those of you looking for a more intense workout can use your office furniture.
Stand up, shake it out, and use your chair as a prop for some Chair Squats. To raise your heart rate, do 3 sets of 20 reps with a break between sets.
Use the chair for your upper body by performing dips. Place your hands on the front of the seat with your back facing the chair. Stretch your legs out in front, bend your arms to dip and push back up. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Add movement to the day by hand delivering messages. If a question or comment can be delivered directly to a co-worker, march across the office and do it. This adds the benefit of moving more, and also promotes productivity by cutting down on the send-and-wait game that we call email.
Functional movement throughout the day is the key to both health and productivity. Use at least one of these five tips every day to get through your work day without hurting your health.