Working a desk job is hard on your body. You spend hours sitting in one place and making repetitive motions, which can lead to muscle pain and fatigue. To combat these health problems and prevent back pain, it’s important to incorporate exercise into your daily routine—even if that means just hopping out of your chair for a few minutes at a time. Instead of spending an hour at the gym every day after work, try these six simple exercises that you can easily do at your desk.
UPPER BACK STRETCH
To get a good upper back stretch, use a door frame. Place your palms on the door frame with your elbows bent, and make sure that you are close enough so that your forearms rest on the door frame and your elbows are roughly at a right angle. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then take a deep breath in and slowly push your chest forward as your arms put pressure on the door frame. This will allow for more muscle activation in the upper back, which can help prevent neck pain and headaches from sitting at your desk all day long! Hold this position for 30 seconds, then release it by leaning back into a standing position. Repeat this exercise 3 times throughout the day; even if it’s just for 5 seconds each time, it’ll make all of the difference!
This exercise is a great way to work your arms, chest, and core in one simple motion.
To do a desk push-up, stand up straight with your feet together and hands on your hips.
Slowly bend at the knees and place your palms flat on the desk, roughly shoulder width apart, then slowly walk your feet backward. Keep your arms straight, and back up until your arms are roughly at a right angle with your body.
Slowly bend your elbows as your body lowers toward the desk, then press back up to straighten your arms. Repeat 10 times for 2 sets total per day or as many times as needed throughout the day to help relieve stress from sitting at a computer all day long!
Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor.
Cross one leg over the other, and clasp your hands behind you at the small of your back.
Gently pull yourself forward until you feel a stretch in one hip, then hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute before switching legs.
Sitting twists are great for your core and upper body. To do them, sit up straight and make sure your feet are planted on the floor. Bend both knees so that they’re at right angles to the ground. Cross one leg over the other, then reach your arms overhead and pull on a bar or use an elastic resistance band if you have one handy. Alternate sides by bringing one arm down while bringing the other arm up—this will help you work out both sides of your waist in this move!
BOTTOM OF THE DESK SQUAT
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
Repeat 10 times, then do this exercise every hour or so (if you can).
You can do this stretch while sitting at your desk. You can also do it while standing, walking or lying down on the floor. You can even try it while sitting on a chair or couch—the possibilities are endless!
Here’s how: Sit tall in a high-backed chair with feet flat on the floor. Place one hand behind your lower back and raise up slightly so you can feel a stretch in your thighs by exhaling through your open mouth as you hold for 15 seconds and repeat three times on each side.
We all know that we should move more and sit less. But when you’re stuck at your desk all day, it can be difficult to find time for physical activity.
There are plenty of ways to stay active without leaving the office—even if you don’t have access to a gym or other fitness equipment. You can improve your health by incorporating movement into your daily routine and breaking up long periods of sitting with short bursts of exercise throughout the day.
And that’s it! We hope these exercises will help you get your blood flowing while you’re sitting at your desk. Remember that they’re not meant to replace the gym or even all of your other exercise routines—they’re just a way to get in some quick, easy stretches while at work.
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