It is important that you keep yourself active at all times. It is especially true when you have an office job that doesn’t give you much time to actually go out and sweat it up for your fitness regime. Doing your 9-to-5 for at least some of your day comes with a multitude of benefits. There’s the boosted productivity as your energy soars, reduced back pain from better posture, and improved weight management as your activity levels increase. And, guess what? You can enhance those positives of a sit-stand workday even further by adding in some desk exercises. Now, answering emails whilst standing might be better than spending all day seated (although, we can understand why you’d be tempted to stay glued to one of these best desk chairs)—but it can never replace that sweaty spin class in terms of calorie burn. So here’s looking at some really great and effective desk exercises that really work! I will be now sharing details on which ones you should be trying to keep your fitness look to the optimal.
A really good move that doesn’t require you to take your eyes off the screen (although a break is always good!) is the standing calf raise. Rise up onto your toes and lift your heels off the floor. Try to do it whenever you feel tired and you need to stretch out and give your body a quick boost. It’s also a good one for keeping your leg muscles and core engaged.
Add to your step count by marching in front of your desk. It’s a great way to stay active while you work. Walking gets your blood pumping—boosting your heart and lung health. You can start with a minute or so. For more of a challenge, you can go for longer, lift your knees higher and swing your arms. This has been the oldest trick in the book but you will love just how it actually energizes you and makes you feel better as you make it a habit.
This is really important to know that moving even a little bit helps a whole lot. While it’s really important to keep your body moving, rather than staying sedentary, sometimes all it takes is some gentle stretches while standing at your desk to assist with aiding blood flow and preventing stiffness in the legs. One simple thing you should be doing is try slowly rotating the ankles clockwise then anti-clockwise—and support yourself with a wall if necessary. This is the amazing footwork that gets you active, up and about in no time.
As simple as it may sound, this will serve you in the long run. After a full day of typing away, your upper body will be ripe for some feel-good release too. Clasp your hands in front of you after which you stretch the arms forward, before gently raising them overhead. This will keep you agile and stop your upper body rounding forward after several hours in front of a screen. Make it a habit to do stretches as often as possible.
This move will be targeting your glutes, and it can also help relieve quad tightness and back pain. Start by holding onto the desk in front of you. Raise one heel straight up to your bum, while keeping your thighs aligned with one another. Squeeze the hamstrings hard at the top of the movement and then lower your leg in a controlled manner. Repeat the process for ten or more reps and then switch to the other leg and do the same. Remember to always keep your torso upright and your core engaged.
SIDE BEND AND TWIST
This one really helps in a range of ways. It also makes you feel energized in no time. Start by standing facing your desk, place one hand on it and then lift the other arm up to the side and over to the high diagonal. You should hold for three breaths, and bring it back to center and then repeat on the other side. My tip is to keep the weight even on both feet the whole time.