Sitting at a desk can not only be bad for your posture, it can lead to multiple illnesses and ailments. In fact, the most up-to-date studies from the NHS shows that those who sat down for most of the day had a 112% increase in a risk of diabetes and a 49% increase in death.
Have we scared you yet?
That being said, many of those in office jobs have little choice in the matter. So, whilst your boss may not be in a hurry to go out and buy your desk-treadmill hybrid, there are a few simple exercises you can do throughout the day to increase your activity levels…and you don’t even have to leave your office chair! Here are some of our favourite deskercise moves:
- The ‘I can’t reach the plug’
A nice and easy warm-up to start with. Stretch your legs in front of you (and keep them straight!!) Then simply aim to touch your toes.
You’re aiming for a slightly curved back rather than hunchback of the office, so don’t worry too much if you can’t reach all the way to your feet on the first couples (or many) attempts.
Tip: If you sit on an office chair with wheels, you may want to push it back against the wall, or your desk. Believe me, too much enthusiasm on the first attempt can leave you on the floor!!
- The promotion
Reach one arm high into the air and then over your head. Lower, and repeat with the other arm.
This exercise is great for your spine and shoulders, as well as your arms.
Tip: To push yourself further, inhale slowly and really push your stretch on the exhale. You’ll be surprised at how far you can go each time.
- The ‘I don’t care’
We don’t recommend taking this attitude in any of your meetings but if you’re looking to give your shoulders and upper back a bit of a helping hand…then shrug it off!
Be sure to hold the ‘shrug’ position for at least 5 seconds; a fast, repetitive movement can sometimes do more harm than good. When returning to a rest position, really try and sink your shoulders right down towards the floor.
- The conversation starter
Arms, legs, shoulders and back. This exercise will certainly leave you feeling more comfortable at your desk!
Cross your right leg over your body, rest your right forearm on the back of your chair and turn gently to the right, just as if you were about to talk to the colleague who sits behind you. Repeat on the other side.
Tip: Don’t push yourself too hard with this exercise, you should still be able to feel the stretch with only light movement!
- The ‘It’s been a long day’ Roll
If you sit and stare at a computer screen every day, you should be stretching your neck at least once every hour…so you don’t need to wait until 5pm to do this exercise!
Simply roll your head to the right, and then slowly to the left. Repeat as many times as you feel necessary. Remember to keep a slow, fluid movement.