As more employers realize the value of keeping their employees fit and healthy, gyms and fitness centers are becoming an increasingly common sight in many office environments. But unless the stationary bikes in those office fitness rooms come equipped with phones and computers, employees still have to spend most of their hours sitting in one place and barely moving during the work day.
Even if your workplace offers a gym or fitness room, you probably can’t take advantage of it except on your lunch break or before you go home for the day. For the majority of the time, you’re glued to your desk, and that can be detrimental to your health no matter how many weight machines your employer owns.
Being sedentary for long periods of time has been shown to increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, and it can also cause pain and stiffness.
Fortunately, just because you’re at your desk all day doesn’t mean you can’t find some ways to stay active, and you can remain productive while you do so.
Here are some of the most common forms of “deskercise” you can use to stay active even as you stay seated:
1. Shoulder shrug: This exercise is one you can do without standing up from your chair, and it can help improve your posture. As you’re seated, squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other as if you’re trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold that position for 10 seconds, then release and repeat as often as you prefer.
2. Chair squat: This exercise tones your buttocks and provides you with an opportunity to move around a little after remaining motionless for a long time. Begin by standing about 6 inches in front of your chair. Then, squat until your buttocks meets the edge of the chair, holding your arms in front of you. Return to a standing position, then repeat 10 to 15 times.
3. Sitting squeeze and hold: To tone your buttocks and abs without getting up from your seat, squeeze your buttocks together while tightening your abs, hold for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise as often as you like.
4. Desk dips: Facing away from your desk and with your legs shoulder-width apart, place your hands on the desk behind you, leaning back slightly. Squat until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Then, return to a standing position, repeating 10 to 15 times. This exercise can help tone your arms and get you moving.
5. Spine stretch: A great way to release tension in your back, this exercise begins with you sitting straight in your chair, with your feet flat on the floor and close together. Stretch your arms to the ceiling, then place your left hand on your desk. With your right hand, grab the back of your chair, then twist your torso to the right. Hold that position for 10 seconds, then release and switch sides.
In addition to desk exercises, there are other simple ways you can remain active during the workday:
6. Using an adjustable desk to stand while working occasionally
7. Walking laps around the room during meetings
8. Using the stairs instead of the elevator when leaving or arriving at the office
9. Getting up from your desk every hour to walk around the office for a few minutes
10. Wearing a fitness band that will remind you when you need to get up and move around a little
With these tips in mind, you have no excuse to remain largely immobile all day at work. Get moving!
Joel Vento is President of Sales and Marketing at Concept Seating. Vento brings over 20 years of experience to Concept Seating, leading to the creation of several products — including the 3150 Operator Chair. Concept Seating produces 24-hour dispatch chairs and office task chairs for a variety of industries.
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