Sitting for too long interferes with your posture and general health. Unfortunately, this is
unavoidable since majority of people work an office job which requires you to sit for long
periods of time. It also becomes harder to work out after work due to the many demands in life.
However, it doesn’t mean that your health has to be compromised while you work hard to earn a living. As such, it is important to take regular breaks from work throughout the day. During this time, you can take a stroll but if you’re too busy for a stroll, here are some exercises you can do at your desk/office.
1. Spinal Twists
One of the areas that are significantly affected by prolonged seating is the spine. Therefore, to
ensure that you have a healthy and strong spine, you should try practicing this exercise regularly. Sit up straight with your legs firmly on the ground then rotate as far back as possible. Keep your core tight and hold the position for 5 seconds. Repeat this exercise 5 more times to complete.
2. Leg Swings
Leg swings help loosen up your hips and glutes thus preventing long-term problems like hip
dysplasia. Start by standing and finding somewhere to hold your balance. Then, swing your right leg forward and backward as far as you can. Repeat this 20 times then switch to your left leg. Once you’re done, do the same exercise swinging your leg side to side.
As the name suggests, you literally have to bend over backwards. This helps straighten your back if you sit for too long. Find a wall for support then stand facing away from the wall. Place your hands against the wall then lean back slowly. Walk your hands down until you feel a stretch and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat it 5 times to complete.
4. Shoulder Opener
While sitting, your shoulders and chest go inward which can have a negative effect on your
posture. This exercise helps counter this effect. Stand straight holding something like a rope
behind your back with both arms. Start to raise them as high as you can while pulling your
shoulders together without causing any discomfort. Repeat 10 times.
5. Ankle Circles
Fluid builds up around the ankle and calf area after sitting for long periods which can cause
discomfort. If you experience swollen feet, this exercise and you can do it any time. Lift your leg from the ground then rotate your ankle clockwise 10 times. When you’re done, rotate anti-
clockwise another 10 times and switch to the other leg.
6. Wall Walk
Stretching is key in maintaining a proper posture and distributing your weight throughout your body. Therefore, stretching exercises like wall walking are great if you sit for too long. Start by standing with your right shoulder against the wall. Raise your right arm till it’s directly above your head then lean in as if you’re trying to make your armpit touch the wall. Hold the position for 1 minute until you feel stretched out. Switch to the left shoulder and repeat the exercise.
7. Figure 4 Stretch
This position is not only a way to get comfortable but also it helps counter the effects of sitting for too long. While keeping your back straight, cross your right ankle over your left knee. Put pressure on your right thigh to deepen the stretch. Hold this position for 1 minute while slightly rocking back and forth then switch to the left ankle and repeat the exercise.
Apart from giving you’re a firmer behind, squats are also great in strengthening your core thus
improving your posture. Stand with your legs slightly apart then push your hips out and down
while keeping your core tight and your back flat. Return to a standing position while squeezing
your glutes. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
9. The Hulk
This exercise resembles Hulk’s signature move when he gets angry. Therefore, to execute the
exercise, try to envision a stocky man ripping his shirt. Assume a bending position with your
elbows bent, arms held up close to your chest and hands in a fist. Move your arms up and down like wings trying to touch your shoulders together. Repeat 10 times.
10. Star Reach
You need a good full body stretch after spending hours behind a desk. If you’re feeling cramped, this exercise will provide instant relief. Stand with your legs slightly apart then stretch your arms up above your head with the palm facing outwards. Separate your fingers and stand on your tippy toes. Hold the position until you feel an exhilarating stretch.
11. Windmill Twist
Due to prolonged sitting, your shoulders and upper body tend to be rigid. This could lead to
respiratory and heart problems. To improve mobility, try doing this exercise. Stand sideways
against a desk then assume a squatting position until you’re leaning against the desk. Raise your right arm upwards and rotate it clockwise from your shoulder. Do this 10 times while keeping your back straight. Switch to the left arm and repeat the exercise.
12. Chair Sit-Ups
Again, this exercise opens up your ribcage and promotes mobility around your upper body area. Start by sitting up straight on a chair. Pick one that doesn’t have a headrest. Place your hands behind your head for support then lean back allowing your spine to assume the shape of the back of the chair. Look up to the ceiling and exhale as you come up. Repeat this 15 times.