13 exercise tips in the office using your desk, your chair and other office furniture.
The word exercise comes from the Latin exercere, meaning to keep busy or at work.
The typical adult sits down on a chair for about 13 hours a day. This includes eating breakfast, the commute both ways to the work, a lot of the day in the office, followed by a night on the couch watching the television. We sleep for around 8 hours, so that leaves us with 3 hours of minimal standing and walking, which to be honest just isn’t enough to count as part of our 30 mins a day of physical exercise our body requires to stay fit and healthy. All of this sitting each day increases the risk of obesity, back pain, bad posture and so much more.
Exercise is simply the act of keeping your body busy, using your muscles and bones while your heart keeps pumping. But you may think, where can I find the time to get my 30 mins a day when I’m in the office at my desk all day? But there are exercises you can do right at your desk to help you improve your body’s flexibility and strength with nothing but a few minutes and your desk and chair.
Here are some tips from Jason Queiros a chiropractor at Stamford Sports and Spine in Connecticut in the USA via Forbes.com
- “It’s important that your desk chair be at the proper height to reduce strain on your neck and back,” he says. “The chair provides the support for your body throughout the day. Adjust the height so you’re in a 90-90-90 position; feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest and your knees and hips bent at 90-degree angles. Keep your lower spine flat against the back of the chair to maintain proper curvature. The chair will help keep the rest of your back and neck erect in order to decrease your chance of hunching forward, which can cause spasms in the back and neck and lead to headaches.”
- “The top one-third of the computer monitor should be above eye level on your desk, both to decrease eyestrain and to prevent hunching forward,” he says. “Make sure you’re not craning your neck forward.”
- “Stretching is important and easy and can help diminish back pain. Try the neck stretch: Touch your ear to your shoulder and hold it there. For a chest opener, stretch your arms back as if you were trying to grab a pencil between your shoulder blades. Stand in a doorway, hold the door frame on each side and walk forward until you feel a stretch in your chest. Last, try supported back extensions. Hold your hips and gently extend your back by bending backward.
- “Folks who rarely disengage from the keyboard often develop carpal tunnel syndrome. But this affliction shouldn’t catch up to you if you repeat this simple move every day. Stand at your desk, and, arms straight, place your palms on the desk with your fingers pointed toward you. Lower your body slowly until you feel the stretch (you won’t have to go far). Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat as needed through the day”
- “The “Magic Carpet Ride” works your core and arms. Sit in your chair with your legs crossed and your feet on the seat. Then place your hands on the armrests, suck in your gut and raise yourself a few inches above the seat, using your belly, muscles and hands. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat five times.
- “For lower-body strength, try the “Wooden Leg.” Sit in your chair. Extend one leg out straight in front of you. Hold for two seconds. Then raise it up as high as you can, and hold it again for two seconds. Repeat with each leg 15 times”
- Remember to always take the stairs instead of the lift
- Take a walk around the office to visit other co workers instead of emailing or calling them
- Park far away from the office
- Walk to ride your bike to work
- Drink lots of water
- Eat health lunches and snacks
- Stay clear of lunch trucks and vending machines