If you spend your working day sitting at a desk, you can start to feel stiff and achy. You need to exercise, but what if you don't have much time? Happily there are lots of ways to incorporate exercise into your day, even while you're still sitting at your desk. Try these tips to help you exercise when you have a desk-bound job …
1. Jump up
No, not literally! But take every opportunity you can to get up and move away from your desk. If you need to speak to a co-worker, go and speak to them, rather than messaging them. Walk up and down the stairs when you arrive and leave (unless you work on the 57th floor!). It all helps to keep you mobile and active.
When you're sitting at a desk all day, your shoulders soon start to ache and get stiff. Here are some simple exercises that will help to undo those knots. Lift your shoulders to your ears, hold for a few moments, then let them drop. Also try stretching your arms up and back (without straining), then stretching them out in front of you.
Your neck can also begin to feel tense after working at the computer for a while, so iron out those kinks with some neck rolls. Allow your chin to drop as far as it can, then roll your head gently to the left. Stop when your ear meets your shoulder, then roll your head forwards to your right shoulder. Go back and forth several times, but don't roll your head backwards.
4. Leg Stretches
Ow! Your legs soon get cramped when you've been sitting down a while, and sitting with your legs crossed is guaranteed to make them ache. So do some stretches. You can alternate one leg at a time, or lift both together. Repeat several times, but don't let your feet touch the floor during the exercise.
5. Desk Squats
You can also use your desk to help you do squats. Sit on the edge of your chair and raise your butt, keeping your knees above your toes. You can also do some squats while you're waiting for documents to print. Another handy exercise you can do at the printer or copier is calf raises. With your feet apart, stand on your tiptoes; lower your heels down, and repeat.
Here's one exercise that you can do without looking silly; in fact, people won't even notice what you're doing. Put your feet flat on the floor, and clasp your hands in front as if you were shaking someone's hand. Make sure that they're not too close to your body, or you'll tense your upper back muscles. Now pull, and hold for ten seconds.
7. Arm Stretch
Give your arms a good stretch by raising them above your head. First lift one higher, then the other. There's another exercise you can do. Extend your arms in front of you, and clasp your hands. Then turn your hands so that your palms are facing outwards. Raise your arms over your head, keeping your hands clasped. This gives your arms and shoulders a lovely stretch.
It's easy to get stiff and adopt a bad posture when you spend a lot of time at your desk, so do some simple exercises and stretches to keep your body supple. What else could you do to be more active?