Exercise shouldn’t be reserved for before and after work. Staying active throughout the day is part of a healthy lifestyle. Being chained to a desk throughout your workday is no excuse for not doing a few exercises.
Here are some exercises that you can try without having to leave your workstation. With some of these techniques, your colleagues won’t even notice that you’re exercising. Let’s take a look at some target areas and associated exercises that you can fit into your workday… all without leaving your station.
Neck and Shoulders
Neck pain and injuries are common amongst office workers, as sitting for long periods of time can cause the neck muscles to shorten. Almost half of all computer and office workers experience neck pain in a 12 month period, so by exercising the neck and surrounding muscles regularly, you keep the muscles stretched and subtle. Try these exercises to help prevent a painful neck or shoulder injury.
#1 Side to Side Neck Tilts
Tilt your head to one shoulder and hold for five seconds, before returning to a neutral position and repeating this process five times. Do the same tilting to the other shoulder.
#2 Tilt Your Neck
Tilt your head down so your chin touches your chest and hold this for five seconds. Look up and repeat this process five times.
#3 Shoulder Stretches
While sitting in your chair, interlock your fingers whilst having your palms facing up toward the ceiling. Push your arms up so they are stretched as much as possible. Hold for a few deep breaths.
Most people know about the risk of deep vein thrombosis (or DVT) when sitting for long periods on a plane, but few people think about the three-or-four-hour blocks they spend sitting at the desk. The most common place for blood clots to develop is the lower leg or thigh. When you can’t get up and walk around regularly, the next best thing you can do is to stretch your legs in your chair.
#4 Calf Raises
Stand behind your chair and hold it to support yourself. Raise your heels off the floor so all your weight is on your toes, before slowly lowering yourself back to the floor. Do this 20 times.
#5 Leg Lifts
While sitting in your chair with both feet on the floor, choose either your left or right leg and lift it while keeping your core muscles tight. Once you’ve done 10 reps, you can swap to the other leg and repeat the process. Move your chair back from the desk if you want to lift your leg a little higher.
Arms and Hands
Office workers are at risk of arm and hand injuries caused by the repetitive nature of their tasks. Stretching and warming up the muscles in your arms and hands before typing for long periods can help reduce the risks.
#6 Arm Pulses
Standing in front of your desk, drop your arms by your side with your palms facing behind you. Keeping your arms as straight as possible, move them back until you feel a stretch then return them to your sides. Repeat this process for 30 seconds.
#7 Tricep Stretch
Sitting in your chair, raise one arm and bend it behind your head so your hand touches the opposite shoulder or shoulder blade. Use your opposite hand on your elbow to gently stretch the arm. Hold for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
#8 Wall Push-Ups
There’s no need to go to the ground when you’re in your work attire to do a push up, there’s a modified version of a push-up you can do against the wall. You still might want to wait until there aren’t too many people around for this one!
Stand away from a wall and place your hands flat against it slightly further apart than your shoulder width. Bend your elbows and lower yourself towards the wall. Keep your stomach muscles tight and your back and legs straight as you move yourself towards and away from the wall. Repeat this process 20 times.
Around 16% of the population complains of a bad back, with the highest number of reports in the later years of our working lives. Bad posture while seated is a common cause for sore backs. You may slouch or hunch over without realising it, which puts pressure on the discs in the back. Keep your back in good condition by watching your posture throughout the workday and be sure to fit in a few stretches. Most stretches for the back require you to get down on the floor, but there are a few you can do at your workstation.
#9 Stretch Out
While sitting in your chair, stretch out your arms at shoulder height in front of you with your palms facing down. Place your head between your arms and look down so your upper back is rounded.
#10 Twist out the Torso
Keep your feet firm on the floor while sitting in your chair. Place one hand on the back of the chair and the other hand across your body to clasp the outer thigh of the opposite leg. Twist your body to look towards your hand on the back of the chair. Hold for a few seconds and then swap sides.
If you need help with choosing the right ergonomic equipment to help avoid an injury from office work, visit our showroom, call us on (08) 9240 7066 or contact us online.