Sit at a desk for extensive periods of time? Suffer from stiff muscles, aches or pains?
The average Canadian office worker spends between four and nine hours sitting per day. This equates to 67 full days of sitting per year. Imagine what this does to your body?
Inactivity doesn’t just affect your health; it can have a direct impact on your work ethic and productivity according to studies in the American College of Sports Medicine and published in the Journal of Workplace Health Management.
Here are some fun facts that might encourage you to get moving!
- One in three adults gets the recommended amount of physical activity each week
- 60% of employees said their time management skills, mental performance, and ability to meet deadlines improved on days they exercised
- 27% of employees reported higher levels of “dealing calmly with stress” on days they exercised
- 41% of employees reported higher rates of “feeling motivated to work” on days they exercise days
It is recommended that we should be spending two hours of a work day standing and about four hours doing light activity. But how do you fit this into your day? Here are 5 exercises you can do at your desk to increase movement and reduce stiffness, aches, and pains.
- The Hovering Leg Raise
Sit upright in your chair, raise both legs so that they are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower your legs until they are hovering an inch or two above the ground. Hold the position for as long as you can, and then release.
- Quick Feet
Sit in your desk chair with your feet flat on the ground. Rapidly tap your feet in place, just like you would do if you were running in place. Do this for 30 seconds. Pause. Then do it for another 30 seconds. Work this in every half hour or so to bring up your heart rate without breaking a sweat that will embarrass you at your afternoon meeting.
- Chair Dips
For this exercise, you need an office chair that won’t roll away from you. Scoot up to the very front edge of your chair, place your legs out in front of you, and place your hands on either side of your hips, fingers pointing toward your desk. Grasp the edges of the chair with both hands, and use your core and arms to raise your body up off the chair and then down so that your rear goes down toward the floor. Push yourself back up, and repeat 15 times. Do three cycles of 15.
- Hard Core Desk Core
Remember when you were a kid and there was nothing better than a desk chair that spins? Use that fun as a grown-up for a great ab workout. Sit upright in your swivel chair and lift your feet off the ground. Lightly hold on to the desk with your fingers — but ensure that your hands or arms aren’t doing the work here, because it should be all core oblique abdominals here. Use those abs and the rest of your core to swivel the chair from left to right and back again. Do 15 repetitions in three cycles.
This exercise requires you to get up from your desk chair, but it can be great while you’re waiting in line for the coffee machine or the microwave, or in those few minutes when everyone has left the conference room after a meeting. This is a variant on a plank exercise, using a very similar form. Step back so that you are at least a foot away from a wall and then lean forward against it using only your forearms for support. Hold this position as long as you can.For a variant, get into the leaning position and lower yourself until your shoulders almost touch the wall, too, and push yourself back up. Repeat 15 times.
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER.
Get up often, go for a walk to the water fountain to refill your bottle or chat to employees to just add a little extra movement to your day.
At Revamp Wellness, we’re here to help you stay moving and able. If sitting at a desk all day has you feeling stiff and achy, book in for a Massage Therapy appointment.