8 Desk Exercises to Keep you fit and Improve Your Posture from Sitting all-day14 Mar, 2023
Desk exercises help prevent poor posture, and back pain from sitting hunched at work all day. Start practicing these exercises to burn calories and keep the doctor away.
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you are stuck in an office for eight hours a day. Sitting for too long hunched at your desk typing away could lead to serious health issues like obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Ideally, you should sit for less than four total hours each day. Research suggests that even 30 minutes of cardio five times a week might not be enough to undo the harm caused by sedentary behavior during workdays. To undo this harm, it is important to include as much physical activity as you can possibly include in your workdays as you can. Practice these desk exercises to stay active at work and prevent stiffness, poor posture, and back pain.
Quick Read Section
- When you are confined to an office for eight hours each day, it can be challenging to keep a healthy lifestyle.
- It's important to spend less than four hours a day sitting down to ensure that you get some level of physical activity during the day.
- Try some easy exercises and stretches to remain in shape if your job requires you to sit still for extended periods of time.
- Regular breaks, moving around the office, and any other form of movement can help avoid the physical problems brought on by prolonged periods of sedentary activity.
Do desk exercises work?
If your job requires you to sit for long periods of time, try doing some simple exercises and stretches to stay fit. Doctors suggest 30 minutes of exercise is necessary each day to be fit and healthy.
Stretches and desk exercises can help prevent stiffness and keep you active even if you have a job that requires you to sit for several hours a day. Taking frequent breaks, walking around the office, and moving your body in any small way can help prevent physical problems associated with long hours of sedentary activity. Those with sedentary jobs should get up and move around for at least five minutes every hour, or 10 minutes every two hours.
Why desk exercises are good for you
Sitting for an extended period of time at your desk is bad for your health. Even physically active people who regularly work out are likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases if they are seated for too long in one place.
However, work activities and deadlines often require many hours of being seated in one position. Desk exercises provide a way around this, making it possible to move around without compromising on work duties.
Desk exercises do not necessarily need to be done by cutting into your busy schedule of work. Getting up from your seat several times throughout the day, even if it just involves standing up for 10-15 minutes can help. Short desk exercises practiced throughout the day improves blood pressure and heart rate.
Research studies have found that exercising for short periods of time provides the same benefits as working out at a stretch for an hour. You should just focus on getting your heart rate up through any kind of movement, even taking the stairs instead of the lift.
Desk exercises to improve posture while at work
Try these quick, effective desk exercises that will enhance your posture and energize you without attracting attention:
- Rotate your neck by dropping your chin and then lifting it up. Bend your neck over to each side.
- Sit up straight, right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on your left side.
- Roll your shoulders back until your shoulder blades are pinched together, as if you are holding a pencil between them. Hold for five to ten seconds. Repeat this exercise several times.
- Stand up with your feet apart. Raise both shoulders up to your ears and hold for 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat with a heavy book in each hand to make it harder.
- Straighten one or both legs while seated and hold for 5-10 seconds. Lower without touching the ground, then repeat. Add weight over your ankles to make it more challenging.
- While seated or standing, keep your heels on the ground and lift your toes. This will help you maintain an upright posture and avoid strain in your lower back.
- Hold your foot a few inches off the floor, bend your knee at 90 degrees and hold for as long as possible while sitting.
- Stand up on your toes and grasp the back of a chair. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then release and repeat.
Sitting for long periods can cause health problems. Standing is better for your health and can help you exercise throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and pace around while you talk on the phone. A mini cycle exerciser fits under your desk and it will get your circulation going. Another alternative to your office chair is an exercise ball. It increases balance and strengthens core muscles in your back and stomach through 'active sitting' - reducing back pain and improving posture. Make sure you buy the right exercise ball for your weight and height, if you do sit all day at the desk don't slouch but sit up straight to strengthen your core muscles.
Desk exercise workouts to lose weight
Exercise Pose 1: BODY LIFTS
This pose helps you work out your arms.
To do this, sit on your desk chair and cross your legs. Hold the chair handles with both arms firmly and gently lift yourself to be in a floating position above your seat. Stay in the position for a few seconds and repeat.
Exercise Pose 2: LEG LIFTS
This pose help you work out your lower body. To do this, sit on your desk chair and stretch out your right leg to its full length. Then raise it gently as high as you can extend it. Hold this position for a few seconds and then repeat for your left leg.
Exercise Pose 3: CHAIR SQUATS
This pose can help you work out your entire body muscles without moving around too much. To do this, drop your desk chair as low as possible. Then get up and stand upright with your back to the chair and spread your feet apart. Now squat till you’re just over the seat and then sit on it. Repeat this pose several times for good results.
Exercise Pose 4: PUSH UPS
This pose can help you work out your arms and your upper body through push-ups. To do this, stand a few inches away, facing your desk. Place your hands on both sides of your desk, keep your legs together, and lean forward. Then push your chest down towards the desk and then push up. Hold this pose while inhaling and exhaling and repeat several times.
You can also stay seated at your desk and do stretch exercises to relieve tension and stiffness in your muscles. Try neck, shoulder, wrist, and ankle rotations as well. Wrist rotations are good for those who are constantly typing or writing at their desks. Ankle rotations improve the circulation of blood and prevent clots from forming.
Desk exercises for work from home
If you’re working from home, then you have the benefit of working and exercising like no one’s watching. Because no one is!
Without feeling self-conscious, you can sneak in some cardio workout while working. This can be done by placing your laptop table safely over a treadmill. Or you can simply walk around your house while attending meetings or calls. Just make sure that no one hears you out of breath. You can also take periodic breaks from work and get your blood pumping through a few jumping jacks. Or put on your favourite beats and dance for a change. After all, there’s no one to question you.
Desk exercises to burn calories
Some of us have the will to do all of the above said activities, but we just don’t know how to find time in between our thousand responsibilities.
The only way to make sure to practice desk exercises and burn calories is by taking consistent effort. Buy a standing desk instead of the one that keeps you slouched in one position all day. Working at a standing desk can help you lose calories, correct your posture and improve your productivity by keeping you literally on your toes all day. Don’t want to stand all day? Don’t worry, there are desks that are adjustable to convert your desk to a standing one when you wish to.
An additional tip is to purchase ergonomically designed chairs that provide support for your back and helps maintain good posture. Sitting on an exercise ball also helps improve balance and keep you focused while working.
It is essential to take frequent breaks from your desk and incorporate movement and stretching into your daily routine. An easy way to make sure you are getting up and moving regularly is to set an alarm on your phone to stand every hour. Modern day smartwatches also remind you to stand periodically as per your BMI. When the alarm goes off, you stand up, stretch, walk around, and do a few exercises. You can try these exercises and stretches while you're sitting at your desk or standing in your workspace. These new habits will enhance your mood to get you feeling better throughout the day.
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