We all have a driving desire to better our overall health. Whether you’re changing your diet or increasing your daily exercise, the motivation is there and you’re probably making great progress! However the unfortunate truth is that if we aren’t getting up at least once an hour, it’s likely that the sedentary lifestyle of working at a desk is reducing a lot of the success we may achieve.
Obviously you can’t quit your desk job, or start a running in the halls club, but we’ve compiled a quick list here for you of exercises that you can do at your desk or within your office without attracting unwanted attention. These are just a few of the “Deskercises” that you can do to keep your body in tip-top shape and help to erase the negative effects of desk sitting.
1. Toe Tapping
It might not seem like a lot, but tapping your toes quickly (maybe to the beat of that great new song you have on repeat right now?) can get your heart rate up and blood pumping just a bit faster. You’ll feel it in your lower leg muscles, giving them a bit of a workout. Keep tapping until you feel your muscles tightening, then take a brief break. Watch what happens in a few weeks!
2. Calf Raises
How many times have you found yourself standing at the printer or the coffee maker, just waiting? Now you can put that time to good use! While you’re waiting, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, press up to your tip toes, pause at the top and then slowly lower back down. If you have time, get up to three sets of 12-15 reps (but this really just depends on how long the printer or coffee maker takes). If you’re up for a challenge, go for a flamingo-like one leg at a time.
3. Seated Leg Raise
This move is particularly easy to conceal from your co-workers. While seated, stretch out one – or both! – legs and hold in place for at least five seconds. Lower back to the ground without letting them touch the floor. Repeat (alternating your legs if you’re raising them separately) for 15 reps.
4. Shoulder Blade Squeeze
This is great for alleviating tension in your shoulders, and to help prevent hunching over your desk. Seated at your desk, pretend you’re holding a pencil between your shoulder blades. Squeeze them together and hold for 10 seconds, and release. Repeat until you get tired, or your boss walks by and asks what’s wrong.
5. Desk Chair Twist
Assuming your desk chair swivels, you can twist your way to tighter obliques. Sitting upright at your desk with your feet hovering over the floor, hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb. Next, using your core muscles, swivel the chair from side to side and feel the burn! Swivel side to side for at least 15 rounds, and watch that core tighten.
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