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8 Easy Exercises you can do at your Desk, at Home or the Office

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Do you experience neck and back pain? It could be due to your working habits. It turns out that sitting in a chair all day is terrible for your health and productivity. Whether working from home, or the office it is vital to maintain your physical health and wellbeing while working. Here are 8 easy exercises you can manage while at work – watch our video for a full demonstration!

The Problem

For the first time in history, we are staying seated all day long. Even though we don’t like doing it, many of us are spending 8 hours sitting each day. Sitting all day has been linked to a long list of scary health ailments including heart disease, high blood pressure, hernias, chronic pain, and arthritis. Sitting is the new smoking, and ignoring aches and pains can have serious consequences. Ergonomic-related injuries are the most prevalent form of injury in the workplace, accounting for a third of all workplace injury cases.

Still think it’s ok to slouch in your chair for more than 40 hours a week? It’s so important to focus on ergonomics whether you’re working from home, or from the office – and take regular breaks to move your body (some simple exercises will do the trick) and don’t forget to stretch!

The Solution

In order to maintain a productive work environment, it is essential to protect your health and safety. Focus on taking more opportunities to stand, do a few exercises or just move around throughout the course of the day. Experts recommend that you should take a 5-minute break every 60-90 minutes, as well as a 30-60 minute lunch break. Take this time to do some quick exercises, or go for a short walk and drink a glass of water. Set alarms if it helps – it is vital to your physical and mental wellbeing that you move your body frequently throughout the day.

In addition to sitting less, doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. We’ve done the math for you, and it is easy to meet or surpass this goal during your regular work breaks. If you work for eight hours, completing a 5 minute workout every 60 – 90 minutes, at the end of your day you would have achieved 25 – 40 minutes of exercise (up to 8 workout moves). To get even more exercise in, take a walk outside and get some fresh air during your lunch break. You’ll find yourself more productive and able to focus better, and your body will thank you for it later!

Here are: 8 Easy Exercises you can do at your Desk

1. Arm Circles

These exercises strengthen and stretch your arms, shoulders, and back. Arm circles reduce shoulder stiffness and get the blood flowing. Stand feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight out to the side at shoulder height. Move your arms in a small backward circle, and slowly make the circles bigger as you repeat. Pair with small weights to tone your arm muscles.

Repeat 20 times in each direction.

2. Wall Push-ups

These exercises strengthen your shoulders and chest, and are suitable for someone with a shoulder injury. Stand a few steps away from the wall, placing your hands flat against the wall slightly wider than your shoulders. Lower yourself towards the wall, keeping your abdominal muscles engaged to maintain a straight line from your head to your toes. Then push yourself back up until your arms are straight (but not locked).

Repeat 20 times.

3. Chair Squats

This exercise strengthens your lower body, and is easy to do without really leaving your chair. A chair squat is similar to a regular squat, except that you begin in a seated position. Stand slightly in front of your chair with your feet about 30cm apart. Keeping your back straight and chest raised, you can either hold your arms horizontally out in front of you, bend your elbows slightly and clasp hands together, or place your arms across your chest with hands touching your shoulders. Stand up from your chair, and then lower your butt back down, stopping right before you sit. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to drive your hips forward and up, returning to the standing position.

Repeat 20 times.

4. Standing Rear Pulses

This exercise targets your hamstrings, glutes, and abs. You can begin either by placing your hands on the edge of your desk or chair back for support, or, (if you have good balance) raise your arms directly above your head with palms apart and facing inwards, or place your hands on your hips. Raise one heel behind you, flexing the foot without bending the knee. Then push your foot directly behind you, without releasing the pose.

Repeat 20 times on each side.

5. Wall Sits

This move is a real quad burner and not as easy as it looks! Maintain a ‘sitting’ position with your back resting against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold for 30 seconds, pushing back against the wall with your thighs to maintain position.

Repeat 20 times.

6. Lower-Abs Leg Lifts

This move is super subtle, great for the abs, and you can do it any time without even leaving your chair. Begin in a seating position with back straight and feet flat on the floor. Keeping knees bent and core engaged, lift one leg up at a time until the foot is above ankle height. Hold for 30 seconds, lower slowly back the floor, and switch sides. If you need something more challenging, try lifting both up at the same time.

Repeat 20 times.

7. Leg Circles

By sitting down all day, you are restricting blood flow to your legs, hips and feet. Always be sure to maintain good ergonomic posture while sitting to avoid cramps. Do some leg circles to restore blood flow. Begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart and hands on the hips. Lift one leg off the ground and make small circles with your leg. Slowly increase the size of the circles as you repeat, lifting the leg higher.

Repeat 10 times on each side.

8. Desk Plank

Begin feet shoulder width apart, facing towards your desk. Rest your hands on the desk and take a plank position. Hold for 20 seconds, and then repeat. Make sure that your body is in a straight line, keeping your back and core engaged.

Check out our video here for a full demonstration!

Good luck!

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