If your work requires long hours of sitting at a desk, you may find it hard to fit movement into your workday. Here are some exercises you can do at your desk to keep your circulation in motion during office hours!
Get Moving at Your Desk
Start in a seated position Stand up. Sit down. Keep repeating. Easy, right?
2. Walk, Jog, or Run in Place
If you have no time to head out for a walk, you can get active right at your cubicle. 30–45 seconds. Just stand up and start moving.
3. Seated Leg Lifts
Sit all the way back in your chair and lift one leg up so it’s horizontal to the floor; hold for 2 to 3 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Want to kick it up a notch? Lift both legs at the same time or raise your legs as high as you can. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
These don’t have to be done on the floor. You can do a modified pushup by pressing against a sturdy wall or the edge of your desk.
5. Pretend Jump Rope
Just as it sounds, you’ll act as though you are jump-roping by hopping on your feet, either both at the same time or alternating, along with the arm movements as if you’re spinning rope.
6. Wall Sit
Stand with your back against a sturdy wall. Then, slowly lower yourself into a seated position and hold for 10 to 20 seconds at a time.
7. Calf Raises
Stand up while holding the back of a sturdy chair for support. Lift your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat 10 times.
8. Reach Up High
Get a good stretch if you’re tied to the desk. Sit up tall in your chair and stretch both arms overhead. After 7 to 10 seconds, reach your right had a little higher; then the left.
9. Chair Dancing
Jumpstart your energy level with a quick dance party in your chair. This is also a great way to relieve stress during the day.
10. Shoulder Press
Keep a set of light weights in your office. Start by holding them at shoulder height; then raise them all the way overhead. You can do these with one or both arms at a time. Do ten repetitions.
More Ways to Stay Active During the Day
Want to get even more movement into your day and avoid a sedentary work life? Try these next set of exercises. Focus on one or two at a time to implement during your workday.
1. Walk down the hall
Instead of emailing a co-worker down the hall or on the other side of the building, why not go pay them a visit in-person? You’ll get more activity, and this may increase your office morale.
2. Park farther away
Rather than search for the closest parking spot, look for the farthest.
3. Take the stairs
Take the stairs instead of the elevator to increase your heart rate and get those legs moving.
4. Work standing up
Whenever you have the opportunity, stand up while you’re working instead of sitting at your desk. You can do this if you take a lot of phone calls at work. It’s also a good time to get in some stretches and get your eyes off the computer screen.
5. Take a walk break
Schedule a couple 10 to 15-minute blocks each day to go for a walk. Set a reminder on your calendar to prompt you if you tend to forget, and find a walking partner.
6. Walk and Talk
Tired of meeting in the conference room? Hold some of your meetings outside.
Sitting at work for extended periods of time is a necessary part of work, but as you can see there are many ways to stay active and avoid the ill effects of a sedentary workday.
Use this new bag of tricks to increase movement throughout your day for better health. Aim to stand up every 30 minutes to an hour to at least stretch, move, or exercise. Prompt yourself by setting a reminder or having an accountability buddy at work.