These days, more and more of us are spending long hours in front of our computers trying to get work done. Though this is all very comfortable, in the long run, it takes a toll on one’s health. Sitting for long hours without getting your body to move leads to not just obesity but also serious health issues.
This is where desk exercises come in.
Desk exercises at work simply mean changing your work routine a bit and incorporating exercises into it. These exercises are pretty versatile and can be done to reinvigorate the whole body or target specific areas by tweaking the traditional exercises to fit your work environment and space. These exercises include yoga, hand & leg movements, and whole body movements.
Here are some of the most effective desk exercises that you can incorporate in your work routine:
1. Desk yoga for the neck: While working on the computer, it’s our neck that takes most of the burden. It stays affixed and bent on our screens for long hours resulting in stiffness and pains. Here’s how to do office desk exercises for a stronger and flexible neck:
Close your eyes and gently drop your chin down to your chest. Now start circling your neck gently. Take your right ear to the right shoulder, take the head back, and then take your left ear to the left shoulder. Alternate on both sides.
Duration: 2-3 minutes Sets: 2 sets of 2-3 reps
2. Desk yoga for the back: Most of us forget to keep our back straight while at the desk which often results in back pain. One of the best desk exercises at work, this improves the circulation and balance in your back and strengthens your spine.
Put both your feet flat on the ground. Put your hands on the knees, inhale, and look up towards the sky. Exhale and gently curve your spine while you let your head drop forward.
Duration: 2-3 minutes Sets: 3 sets of 2-3 reps
3. Leg lifts: How often do we feel our legs to be numb after sitting for hours. This is one of the best desk exercises that not just improve the strength in your legs, core, and quads, but also prevents clotting.
Sit tall in your chair. Lift the right leg straight till your hamstrings lift off the chair. Hold for a few seconds and alternate on the other side.
Duration: Hold for 20 seconds Sets: 4 sets of 2-3 reps
4. Side lunges: One of the most effective standing desk exercises, side lunges are great for improving your stability and balance by working on your inner and outer thigh muscles. This is also a good weight loss exercise that helps you crunch calories.
Stand straight placing your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a step towards the right and squat till your thigh is parallel to the floor. Repeat on the other side.
Duration: 4-5 minutes Sets: 3 sets of 10 reps
5. Tricep dips: Wondering how to lose weight while at work? Tricep dips are great for boosting your metabolism and helping you lose calories. This is also one of the best desk exercises for improving the strength in your upper body, reducing the risk of injuries, and enhancing balance and stability.
Stand in front of a chair and put your palms flat on it. Keep your heels on the ground with your legs straight in front. Lower yourself gently till your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Remember to use a chair without wheels.
Duration: 3-4 minutes Sets: 3 sets of 10 reps
Other options can be to take the stairs to your workplace instead of the lift, walking while taking calls, and using a standing desk. To increase the impact of these exercises, you can combine them with other forms of workouts such as cardio exercises and pilates.
Desk exercises are versatile can be customized for everyone including:
Beginners Seniors Pregnant women Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle People who want to lose weight Those who have suffered from an injury or undergone surgey and are recuperating
Desk exercises should be done only after a consultation with your doctor if you fall in any of these categories: 1. Those who have recently suffered an injury and are yet to heal 2. People who have a fever, flu, or cold 3. Anyone who is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, or panic 4. Anyone who is suffering from cardiac or orthopedic issues.
Exercises to do at desk have some amazing benefits for your mind and body. These include:
If done regularly, desk exercises put a break on your sedentary lifestyle. This reduces the chance of obesity and prevents cardiovascular problems, hypertension, high blood pressure, and much more.
They help in the release of hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline. This makes your feel happier, relaxed, and more confident, having a direct impact on your work performance.
Desk exercises improve your circulation, which helps in improving your focus and concentration. This helps you manage challenging work demands and enhances your creativity, productivity, and team relations.
They reduce stress and anxiety. This helps prevent several health problems and improves your sleep patterns.
Exercises to do at your desk improve your joint and bone health. This reduces the risk of debilitating conditions such as arthritis, muscle atrophy, etc.
The exercises you can do at your desk have no inherent disadvantages. However, there may be some risks that arise such as:
1. Doing desk workouts for beginners without proper guidance may lead to injuries. 2. Not consulting your doctor before doing desk exercises may cause adverse health problems. 3. Not including a cool-down and warm-up session may lead to muscle soreness and stress. 4. Not taking adequate rest breaks may cause fatigue and boredom.
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