For many of us, our jobs involve sitting a lot. We are at a desk on a computer for way too many hours during the day. Whether we are freelancers who work at home, bloggers who are managing our own domain names and even blogging about fitness, or working for a large company in an office, we face some potential health hazards from sitting all day.
Not to worry. There is a cure. No matter why you are stuck at your desk, there are exercises and workout routines you can do right in your work area, many while you are working. Here are a few simple example of workout routines you can do while sitting at your desk.
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This practice began as way for beginners or others who needed support to still do yoga poses but has evolved into an office trend. If you walk by a cubicle to see someone using their chair for support, or even posing in their chair, you are witnessing the chair yoga phenomena.
The key is that chair yoga can be done without ever leaving your work area, and some poses can be done while you are on the phone or even sitting and typing. This practice improves your fitness and flexibility and has been proven effective at improving posture and overall health.
Many routines are on YouTube for free or on other sites, so you can watch and follow them at your desk. Incorporate this into your daily routine or your breaks, and you will feel much better at work.
This is a form of exercise that has been around for a long time. Just tightening your muscles, pushing against something stationary, or using your body weight, you can get a great workout without ever leaving your desk.
These exercises require no special equipment. You can work out in your doorway, on the edge of your chair, or a number of other ways. There are several isometric exercises you can do at your desk. They include:
- The Chair Leg Extension
- Isometric Hand Press
- Wall Push Off
- Overhead Press
- Side Bend
- Cross Arm
- Neck Stretch
As with chair yoga, there are also simple routines on YouTube and other websites that walk you through a short series of exercises. Add this to your breaks, lunch hour, and throughout the day for better fitness at your desk.
Another simple thing that is becoming more common is to have a standing desk and simply stand more at work. This is great for your fitness as you can stretch or do some simple stepping in place while you continue to get things done.
There are a variety of standing desks, so be sure to get one that is adjustable and has the ability to hold the weight of all the stuff on your desk. Cord management is also important, as is a good foam comfort pad to stand on. Without one, standing can be painful and even harmful.
Also, be sure to use proper posture and standing techniques when using your standing desk. Otherwise the practice is no better than sitting for you. You should change positions frequently throughout the day, even alternating hours if you can, one standing and one sitting. Just standing whenever possible will improve your fitness at work greatly.
There are devices that will let you pedal while under your desk, giving you a bike-like workout while you’re sitting still. These devices have varying resistance to let you set the level to what you are comfortable with. You can often use these when performing regular tasks, although it does take some getting used to when typing.
An alternative is a treadmill or cycle desk. These are desks that are designed to mount to or work around a stationary bike or treadmill. That way you can be walking or biking, moving around while you are working. The best option with these desks is a laptop, as you will need to transition to a regular desk (unless you really want to walk, stand, or pedal for eight hours straight). Still, these desks give you the ability to work while working out.
Finally, you could grab some small weights and keep them at your desk. Take a few minutes each hour to do some curls, forearm curls, overhead presses and more. Doing so with a light weight but multiple reps is a good way to tone and develop endurance strength.
You don’t have to go crazy and get all sweaty at this. Just a few reps or a short routine every hour or two can really help you feel better and keep you fit even when sitting at a desk all day.
Perhaps the best way to stay fit is to combine a few of these things, and rotate routines and the things that you do every day so that you never get bored with them. Your body, your mind, and your work will thank you for taking the time to care for yourself, and working out while you are sitting at your desk.