A large contributor to the weight problem in the United States is that more people than ever before are working in sedentary desk jobs.
Sitting at a desk with only the occasional hand and arm movements for 8 to 12 hours per day eliminates a large amount of time other people are using to get some form of exercise.
The lack of exercise may not just affect your health, but also your health insurance. Many plans are beginning to offer lower rates to those who belong to a gym. Others are requiring higher co-pays to individuals that smoke or who are overweight.
To overcome this problem, try a new set of exercises that can make sure you get adequate exercise while at work. The following are some tips and strategies for getting in some good exercise when you can’t get away from or you can’t stray very far from your desk.
The first step to maintaining your health at a desk job is sitting with proper posture. While sitting at your desk, your back should be straight, shoulders back, thighs parallel to the floor, knees bent at a 90-degree angle, feet flat on the floor, and eyes looking straight ahead. While keeping a proper posture won’t burn any calories, it is an important step for your overall health.
An easy way to get some exercise at your desk is to engage in simple stretches. You can stretch your neck, torso, arms, legs, and more while sitting at your desk:
• Neck – Stretch your neck by flexing your head forward and backward as far as is comfortable. Then, tilt your head left and right. Next, turn your head from side to side, looking left then right. Never roll your head around in circles.
• Shoulders – Although you shouldn’t roll your head in circles because it is too prone to injury, you can roll your shoulders. Start rolling forward, and then switch directions after 10 repetitions.
• Arms – Sit about two feet from the edge of your desk, about one shoulder-width. Put the outside of your hands on the edge of the desk and lean forward.
• Wrists and ankles – Wrists and ankles are other joints that benefit from rolling.
• Chest and back – stretch your arms out to your sides. Rotate your wrists so your thumbs are up and back. Now, push your arms back gently at the shoulders.
• Abdomen and groin – Contractions are good exercises for the abdomen and groin. Contract your abdominals, hold, release, and repeat.
• Calves – Stretch your calves by bringing your weight onto the balls of your feet and raising your heels. Then, lower and repeat.
Kick it up a Notch
Never do anything sitting that you can do standing. Along the same lines, never do anything standing that you can do walking around your office or desk space. Always try to stay as active as possible. Many people perform repetitive office tasks on a treadmill or exercise bike. When you can’t get up from your seat, make use of some simple forms of exercise equipment like a hand gripper, a small hand exercise balls, or elastic bands.
With a little inventiveness, it is not that difficult to get adequate exercise in a confined space or limiting situation. Most of us simply sit idly while we work. You don’t have to be idle. Put your multitasking skills to the ultimate test.
About the Author
Sally is a writer with a passion for health and wellness, web design and sustainable energy. In her free time she enjoys playing with her two English bulldogs.