Desk jockeys know that spending too much time sitting in an office chair can be just as hazardous to health as spending an entire shift standing on a concrete factory floor. People who work 40 hours a week or more in a sedentary job are at risk of developing blood clots and other cardiovascular related issues. By practicing a few effective office exercise techniques, you can become a healthier desk jockey in the new year.
The biggest pitfall of office work is the employee’s lack of movement. Sitting at a desk doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be stationary. Look for opportunities to stand up and move around. Don’t sit in your chair as you shred papers; stand next to the shredder and roll up onto your toes a few times. This will activate your calf muscles and increase circulation. Rather than rolling your chair over to the file cabinet, walk across the room to tuck away your folder. Brief moments of movement will give you a momentary boost in circulation.
Making a short walk to the restroom gives you time to stretch your legs and increase blood flow. Amp up circulation by doing some squats or standing knee lifts while you’re sheltered in the privacy of the washroom.
Even with occasional breaks, most of your workday will be spent seated at your desk. Use your chair time to do occasional glute crunches. This easy and effective exercise can be done by flexing both glutes in unison and holding for 3 to 4 seconds, or you can gently flex one glute at a time. Do 10 to 15 repetitions and rest. Repeat as often as desired. Not only will glute crunches increase blood circulation, but they will help tone your bottom.
Keep a small dumbbell in your desk drawer. If you have quiet moments during the day, pull out your dumbbell and put your arms to work. Perform a few overhead dumbbell presses, while in a seated position with feet flat on the floor, to work muscles in your back as well as your arms.
While in a seated position, lift one knee straight up a couple of inches, while the lower part of your leg remains vertical and at rest. Then, slowly lower your knee until your foot settles on the floor. Do the same with your other leg. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions and rest. Repeat this process as often as you like. In addition to increasing blood flow, this exercise also works muscles in the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and lumbar areas, which makes it one of the most productive office exercises you can do.
Working at a desk doesn’t mean you must cave in to the hazards of a sedentary work life. Look for opportunities to move, walk away from your desk when the chance presents itself and perform chair exercises throughout the day. If you put these activities into operation, you will find yourself becoming a healthier desk jockey in the new year.