Finding time to exercise is a challenge, particularly if you work all day and have family obligations to take care of. Getting enough exercise is important for a healthy body and mind but it’s often placed on the back burner because of time constraints. There are ways to work in physical activity, however, even if you don’t have time for a full workout. Here are some simple exercises you can do at your desk. After all, studies have shown that exercise is good both for the worker and the workplace.
Arm circles strengthen neck and upper back muscles. Place feet flat on the floor and sit up straight. Lift your arms out straight parallel to the floor. Extend your fingers and make 10 tight circles forward and 10 tight circles back. Repeat the exercise twice three times per day.
The pelvic thrust tones abdominal muscles and increases flexibility. Sit with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your hands on your desk, arch your lower back. Don’t let your legs move, use your abdominal muscles. Slowly move your hips underneath your stomach and hold for two to four seconds. Return to your original position. Repeat the exercise 15 times three or four times per day.
The neck stretch diminishes back pain. Touch your right ear to your right shoulder and hold. Do the same on the left side. Repeat five times once a day.
The leg tightener increases circulation and improves balance. Sit forward in your chair, straighten your left leg and lift it about 3 inches off the ground. Tighten the leg muscles and hold for five seconds. Do the same with the right leg. For an added strengthening boost, try raising your leg as high as you can and holding for two seconds after you finish the initial lift. Repeat twice a day.
The No Carpal Tunnel Exercise
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the painful result of hours spent working on a keyboard. Try this simple exercise to reduce your risk. Stand at your desk with arms straight. Place your palms on the desk and point your fingers toward you. Keeping your arms straight, lower your body until you feel a pull. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat several times throughout the day.
The chair push develops biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles. This exercise only works with a wheeled office chair on a smooth surface. Sit slightly forward in the chair in front of your desk. Lean forward until your chest is approximately 2 inches from the desk. With elbows bent, grab the desktop and slowly and carefully push the chair backward by extending your arms, leaving only a slight bend. Pull yourself back to the starting position. Repeat twice.
Other Ways to Get Fit
Exercises aren’t the only ways to improve fitness at work. Here are some simple ways to get active even when you don’t have time to fit in a regular routine:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take an outdoor walk during breaks.
- Get off the bus or park the car a couple of blocks away from work and walk the rest of the way.
- Ride a bicycle to work.