Even if you’re someone who works out like it’s your second job, recent studies show that reaching the recommended amount of physical activity per day still may not be enough to prevent you from the negative health effects that come from a sedimentary lifestyle. Sitting at a desk all day long with minimal activity can not only take a toll on your joints, but also on your energy level, posture, and a series of other ailments. Fortunately, there are simple exercises you can do right at your desk that will help combat these ailments and keep your blood flowing during office hours.
Work out those thighs.
Under-the-desk leg lifts are discreet and highly effective for stretching and strengthening your thighs. Make sure you are sitting upright in your chair and that your core is engaged. Inch yourself to the edge of the seat and extend one leg at a time as you slowly lift that extended leg up and down. Do three sets of 10 reps on each leg and feel the burn!
Give your arm muscles some love.
Tricep dips off the side of your desk are great exercises for your arms. Make sure your desk is stable enough before trying this! Face away from your desk and place your hands on the edge of your desk, while dipping yourself to where your arms and elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Don’t forget to engage your core so that you don’t injure yourself. Do sets of 10 reps throughout the day and reap the benefits.
Get up and squat.
Whether you’re in a cube or your own office, the area around your desk is just a perfect amount of space to do some squats. Although this exercise isn’t the most discreet, but it’s not like you’re doing lunges down the hallway. Squats are among the most effective exercises for strengthening muscles, so get up and get to some!
Invest in some mini hand weights.
Keeping small two or five pound weights at your desk will remind you to grab them and work out your arms when your hands free up at work. When you’re reading an email or just waiting for a program to load, use that window of time to grab those weights and do a quick lift session. Simply having the weights there at your desk will be a motivator in itself.
Stretch. Stretch. Stretch.
It’s crucial that you stretch out your back periodically throughout the day. The pressure on the lower back from sitting in a chair all day can cause long-term back problems. To remember to move, set an alert on your online calendar that will pop up on your screen at certain points during the day to remind you to stretch out your back and readjust your posture.
Making even the slightest effort during office hours to get up and get moving throughout the day will help combat the negative effects of a sedimentary lifestyle. Doing these little exercises will help boost your energy throughout the day and all around make you feel better.