Over the last few years the working day for most Brits has got longer with the average person working until seven in the evening. With the death of the nine to five and research suggesting sitting at your desk for eight hours a day could bring on diabetes and heart disease, it’s more important than ever to fit healthy habits into your working day.
This blog looks at some of the top deskercises (exercises at your desk) for those who don’t even have the time to nip out for a lunchtime sandwich.
1. Sabotaging your health
Apparently sitting for long periods of time is having a negative impact on your future health. Your muscles don’t burn as much fat, good cholesterol (HDL) levels go down and blood flow becomes sluggish. So – do your future self a favour and take breaks from sitting. Here’s our top excuses to get up and move about.
Take the stairs
It’s obvious and its always included and that’s for one simple reason – it works. It’s a basic small change and one which you’ll find easier each time you do it. Once you master taking the stairs instead of the lift really go for the burn and take two at a time!
Been sat at your desk for the whole afternoon? Then take a break in the guise of helping fellow work colleagues. Offer to make a round of drinks, get supplies from the stationary cupboard or nip to the shops for some milk (not brownies!). Your colleagues will thank you and so will your fitter future self.
Even more interesting than lending a hand is being nosy. Go for a wander around the office. Visit colleagues on other floors (taking the stairs of course). Stop sending internal emails and go and meet that person face-to-face, its better communication and it’s better for your waistline.
2. Bad backs
A major side effect which two thirds of adults suffer from is a bad back. Hunching over a computer is the main reason for back pain. Our bodies are not designed for a sedentary lifestyle yet most of sit in front of our computers for hours at a time. This does untold damage to our backs but below are a few easy tips on ways you can combat this.
Shrug your shoulders
This exercise really is that simple. Raise your shoulders up to your ears for five seconds and then relax. Doing 15 reps of these throughout the day will help relieve tension in your shoulders.
Put your head in your hands
While you may want to warn colleagues that you haven’t fallen into a pit of despair this deskercises will release tension in your neck. Clasp your hands and bring both palms to the back of your head. Then, sitting up straight, press your hands towards your thighs, tucking your chin into your chest. When pressing down use your hands to gently pull your head away from your shoulders (this will give you an even more intense stretch).
3. Fun and easy
If all the above sounds too complicated, then try the easiest deskercises there is. Stand up and then sit down – without using your hands. Repeating this can be a challenge but it’s a great exercise for your trunk and pelvis which will help get your core in better shape.
Finally, the most fun of all is to substitute your chair for an exercise ball. This is great for those with lower back problems. While sitting on the exercise ball you engage all your lower body muscles to stay balanced. This really is one your fitter healthier future self will thank you for.