Not everyone can take an hour lunch break and head to the gym down the road for a bit of exercise. It isn’t necessary to have to leave the office to get some exercise. The following list includes 8 exercise you can do at your workstation. The nice thing about these exercises is that you don’t have to have a lot of time or any extra pieces of equipment to do them. See if some of these might work for you!
8. Toe Touches
This exercise always helps me to wake up when I feel fatigue setting in. Just about everyone has done toe touches at some point in their life, so most people know there isn’t much involved with a successful toe touch. By successful I don’t mean that you need to be able to touch your toes. My idea of a successful exercise is having one that feels like I’m actually working a particular muscle. All you have to do to perform a toe touch is stand up, lean the upper half of your body forward and extend your arm towards your toes. Take it easy when doing this exercise, since muscle injury is very possible when doing toe touches too quickly.
7. Lower Back Stretches
You can stay seated in your chair for this exercise. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your legs out in front of you. Grasp the side of your chair and make sure your torso remains straight. Don’t slouch! Turn your head so that it is facing the same direction you are grasping and pull slightly until you feel the muscles in your lower back being stretched. For a deeper stretch, try placing your inside arm over the back of the chair and pull into the twist using this arm.
6. The Triceps Press
Having a full bottle of water on hand is helpful when doing this exercise. If you don’t have a water bottle, then use something else that is easy to hold in one hand and that is heavy enough to provide some resistance for your muscle. Sit up straight in your chair with both feet flat on the ground. Grasp the water bottle in one hand, extend your arm, then slowly raise the bottle straight up and over your back shoulder. Only bend at the elbow and reach over your back as far as is comfortable. Slowly raise the water bottle back up above your head and then lower your extended arm until you are back in the starting position. Try this exercise with both arms.
5. Forearm and Wrist Stretches
Typing can become painful at the end of the day. Stretching your wrists and forearms can be just the thing for getting in a bit more pain-free typing before your work day is through. Press palms firmly together in front of you and raise elbows until each forearm is parallel to the floor. To take the stretch a little further, push one set of fingers forward to stretch the wrist of the opposite hand. Do this for each side and hold for about 15 to 20 seconds.
4. Side Bends
I tend to get a stitch in my side when I don’t sit with good posture. This side bend exercise is perfect for getting rid of painful kinks in your side. Hold a book, your water bottle, or some other semi-heavy object in both hands and raise it above your head. Keeping your arms perfectly straight, gently lean towards the left and contract your abs as you do so. Repeat this process on the right side and do at least 10 reps total.
3. Leg Extensions
This is a great exercise for stretching the upper portion of your legs. Sit towards the edge of your chair and grasp the sides or front of the seat, whichever is more comfortable for you. Keep one foot flat on the floor while slowly raising the opposite leg until it is parallel with the floor. Hold for a couple of seconds and slowly bring the leg back down. Repeat with the other leg. You should feel a pull at the back of your thighs when doing this exercise.
2. Shoulder Raises
This is helpful in loosening those upper shoulder muscles that become tense from sitting at a desk for too long. Stress also accumulates in the muscles of the upper shoulders and lower part of the neck. Simply raise both shoulders at the same time and try to make them reach your ears. You can then lower your shoulders and tilt your head to one side while pulling down with the opposite shoulder. Do an even number of reps on both sides and I bet you’ll be thrilled with the difference it makes!
1. Jumping Jacks
Granted, this exercise might draw some attention from coworkers if you are in a small space. However, if you are able to do some jumping jacks, nothing gets the blood pumping quicker than about 15 of these all-inclusive exercises. If you’re not sure how many jumping jacks you can do, take it easy at first. After doing about 20 in a row, I get a little wobbly-kneed when I stop!
Most of these 8 exercise you can do at your workstation are fairly calm ones that only involve stretching. It’s difficult to perform exercises that are a bit more energetic, such as the football foot drill. There are also plenty of exercises that involve using your office chair for support, but they don’t work very well when the chair is situated on wheels. Are there certain exercises you do at the office from the comfort of your personal workstation? Feel free to share some new ones!