Desk exercises to keep you active
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
To make it even more challenging, balance a weight or paperweight on your feet.
As a student and a modern world worker, you might find yourself often sedentary—socializing, travelling, studying, and working in office-type environments are all done in a seated position. Sitting down limits the number of calories you burn per day, increases your risk of weight gain, and increases the risk of illness and disease including high blood pressure and diabetes.
People who work on their feet all day have an unexpected perk of being more active than those of us who work desk jobs. Working at a desk or other sedentary positions requires a little more effort and creativity to keep active and in shape. Now is the time to make better use of slower days at the office! I’ve stumbled across a couple of exercises that work well in the work day, and the best part is there’s no startup cost or props beyond the desk and office chair.
So, what are you waiting for? Roll your neck, stretch out your arms and legs, touch your toes, and get at it! There’s literally no excuse to not get moving.
This exercise works well with a stationary chair, not a wheeled one! Place your hands on the front edge of the chair, facing forward and palms flat. Bend your elbows straight back and lower yourself straight down several inches, making sure your back is as close to the chair as possible. Straighten your arms to pull yourself back up. Do this 25 times.
As simple as it sounds, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended in a ‘T’ shape. Move your arms in small circles, 20 times forwards and 20 times backwards.
Start by making sure your desk will support your bodyweight! Place your hands on the surface of your desk at shoulder-width apart, palms flat. Take a couple of steps back to ensure you will be able to lower yourself successfully. Remember to keep your core tight when lowering yourself down to the desk, then push back up until your arms are straight but not locked. Do 25 reps.
If your desk does not support your weight—hopefully, you figured this out without injury or damage to the desk—then try the same thing against a wall!
The perfect between clients, meetings, or during phone calls exercise! Easy to do and definitely a butt-shaper! Simply stand up from your chair and lower yourself back down as if you’re about to sit, but stopping just shy of the seat of your chair. Keep your weight in your heels to work those glutes! Repeat this 30 times—it’s an easier one, so why not?
Stand up behind your desk, holding onto it for support. Raise up onto your toes and back down repeatedly. Try going slower or faster to get a different work out. Do 40 of these.
A classic! Find a wall, slide your back down it pressing flat against the wall. Make sure your hips are at the same height as your knees, which should be at a 90 degree angle with your feet together. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds then release, stand up, and shake it out. Repeat.
Seated bicycle crunches
Sit with your feet flat on the floor, position your hands on the back of your head and lift your knee towards the opposite elbow, twisting your body down towards your knee, then return to a seated position and repeat with the other knee and opposite elbow. Do 30 twists. For an added exercise, bring a yoga mat to work and do some crunches on the floor.
Lower-abs leg lifts
This exercise is so subtle you can do it anytime! Sit straight up with both feet flat on the floor, lift one leg up off the floor at a time, keeping your core tight. To make the move more challenging, lift both legs up at the same time. Do 25 reps. To make it even more challenging, balance a weight or paperweight on your feet.