A lot of us live under the misconception that fitness means taking a trip to the gym or investing in a bunch of fancy equipment for home. However, if you are someone who has done yoga, pilates, or have worked out at home, you will be aware of the fact that all you need is a little bit of space, time, and discipline. There is no need to invest a lot of money in the equipment. However, with the kids, commute, responsibilities, and the job, you may find it difficult to take out time to exercise. If you are pressed for a few spare minutes, there are many desk exercises and stretches that are not only effective but can be conveniently integrated into your workday. Here are the 10 best office stretches or exercises you can do at the standing desk.
Let’s take a look at a few easy-to-do everyday desk exercises.
- Tricep dips
Move away from the front of the chair or desk. It is best to use a chair that does not have wheels so that it will not roll away from you. Now keep the arms straight and hold the front edge of the chair with your hands. Next, extend the legs out so that the butt is only at the edge of the chair. Lower down slowly till your butt is below the front edge and raise back up slowly. Bring your feet closer to you for less intensity.
- Calf raises
Stand up and use the desk or your chair for additional support. Now raise up on the tip toes and hold. Slowly lower back down. Try to do a total of 30 lifts divided into 3 sets of 10 lifts.
- Desk pushups
Face the front or back side of the desk and hold the edge with your hands. Ensure your hands are about a shoulder width away. Now walk your feet away from the table until you are at a distance that allows you to have a straight back while standing on the toes. Maintaining a straight back, lower down slowly till your chest touches the edge of the desk. Wait for a few seconds and slowly raise back up. Those with an adjustable height desk can lower or raise the desk. It is best to do three to five sets of 10 pushups.
- Invisible chair
This is a fairly easy exercise. Simply stand a few inches in front of the chair and face the direction you would in case you were to sit down. Now stretch your arms in front of you to maintain balance. Keep a straight back and slowly lower down till your butt touches the front part of the chair. Keep in mind to not rest your weight on the chair. Hold the position for a few seconds and then raise back up to the standing position. You must do 10 sets.
- Chair leg lifts
You might find this exercise a bit challenging but it will work on the hip flexors and abdominals. While you are sitting on the chair, hold the sides of the chair with your hands and slowly bring the knees to the chest. Now slowly kick them out right in front of you and hold. It helps to do 10 to 20 sets.
Let us take a look at a few simple yet effective desk stretches.
- Chest opener
To practice the chest opener stretch, simply reach both arms back and interlace your fingers. If you are unable to join the hands together, you can just hold on to the back of the chair. Now extend the arms out for 25 seconds and give your chest, shoulders, and neck a good stretch.
- Spinal twist
On your chair, sit sideways and turn to grab the back of the chair using both hands. Now use the arms to slowly twist the body and hold for 15 seconds. Now do the same practice on the other side.
- Neck roll
For neck roll, just drop the chin to your chest and roll your head in a circle around the shoulders for about 10 seconds. Now stop and roll into the other direction.
- Seated hamstring stretch
Sit on the edge of the chair and extend one leg out keeping the knee straight. Now keep the back straight and lean forward slowly. You will feel a nice stretch in the hamstring. Try to hold this position for about half a minute and then switch legs.
- Calf stretch
To practice calf stretch, you need to stand straight and hold the edge of the desk. Place one leg forward while bending the knee and extend your other leg back keeping the knee straight. Now push the heel towards the floor. There will be a good stretch in your calf and you must hold this position for about 20 seconds and then switch legs.
These stretches and desk exercises will help maintain your health at work. If you never have the time to work out or step into the gym, you can find a few minutes from your busy day to practice these exercises. They will go a long way when it comes to your health and wellbeing. Even standing desks can be very helpful to improve cardiovascular health and will boost calorie burn. This will increase productivity and engagement.
Standing desks also make it easy and convenient for you to exercise at the desk without thinking about it. Further, you can do these exercises at any hour. You can also consider an adjustable height desk as a part of your health program. Small but effective changes can make a lot of difference to your health and will go a long way. You can also add some ergonomic desk accessories to improve movement and reduce discomfort or fatigue throughout the day.
We hope you find these exercises helpful and they help you become healthier!