It’s hard to stay healthy working at a desk. You sometimes sit for hours and the only part of your body moving is your fingers. It’s not only uncomfortable after a long period, it’s hard on your body. In fact, one study shows that sitting continuously for over 50 minutes at a time can actually wipe out many of the benefits of working out. You need to get up every fifty minutes and move around, whether you’re working out or not. If you don’t workout, the effects of that time are even worse.
Get up and walk around or create a workout you can do for a few minutes every hour.
You might not think you have the time to take a break, but the truth is, you can’t afford not to do that. When you break up your time at the computer with extra movement, it actually makes you work more efficiently. Plan some activities you can do in a few minutes. There’s a four minute nitric oxide dump created by Dr. Bush that you can do or simply going to the stairwell and going up and down a flight of stairs can be a great break to boost your circulation and get your mind back to top speed.
Don’t stress over that slow computer system.
Here’s one of my favorites that a client suggested. The computer system at her work often goes through a lazy phase where it takes forever to pull up information. She does deep knee bends while she’s waiting and tries to see how many she can get in before the system has the information she needs. She says it turns frustration into a game. It also gives her the break she needs to regroup. I like to think of it as turning something negative into a positive.
Use your chair as a prop.
You don’t have to get down on the floor to get exercise. You can do it right at the desk. Grasp the sides of your chair and lift yourself off the seat with your body maintaining the seating position, thighs at a 90 degree to the body and calves parallel with the body. If you prefer, slide to the edge of the chair, holding the edge with your hands as you lower your body for a chair dip by bending your arms. Return to the original position by straightening your arms. Do a modified squat by lifting your bottom off the chair and holding the position.
- Stop those tension headaches before they start. Do neck and shoulder rolls at the desk to loosen the tight muscles, which often create those tension headaches.
- Just tightening muscles periodically can help you stay in shape. Straighten your posture, while pulling in your stomach and tightening helps, just as tensing your glutes and holding for a count of ten.
- Do jumping jacks without the jumping or get up and do a windmill. Raise your hands perpendicular to your body and either turn side to side for a windmill or bend side to side for a stretch.
- Even if you add movement at the office, it doesn’t replace working out on a regular basis. Make sure you get at least forty to fifty minutes of regular exercise three times a week.