Looking to avoid the dreaded desk slump? Have a go at these simple exercises. Whether you are looking at a phone, computer, or tablet, you're bound to be typing, swiping, and hunched forward.
And no matter if you are at home or in the office, sitting at a desk for hours can increase the risk of obesity as well as cause back pain, poor posture, leg cramps, and sore shoulders, among other health issues.
But there are exercises you can do right at your desk to help improve your body's flexibility and strength with nothing but a few minutes and your desk chair, relieving tension in your body from all that typing.
Here are four simple moves that you can do at your desk which will make a dent in your sedentary time.
Seated leg raises
It's not only easy to do this exercise at your desk, but it will also help strengthen your hamstrings and glutes.
"To do this, first sit upright in your chair and straighten one of your legs so that it's parallel to the floor, holding it in place for 10 seconds. Now, do this with your other leg. Repeat 15 times on each leg," advised Catherine McLaughlin, marketing manager and personal trainer at BLK BOX (blkboxfitness.com). "You can do this in the afternoon to help give you a bit of an energy boost and avoid feeling sluggish."
Great for the upper body and core strength, desk push-ups can easily be done in-between calls.
"Place your palms at shoulder width at the edge of your desk - making sure your desk is sturdy enough to hold your weight first!" the fitness pro explained. "Now, move your feet away from the desk until you are inclined towards it. Slowly lower your chest towards the desk, then push yourself back up again. Repeat 20 times."
To boost energy, as well as improve upper-body strength, a few rounds of tricep dips is the way to go.
"To complete this exercise, you'll need a chair that won't roll away. Move to the front edge of the seat and place both palms flat. Bend your elbows until they're bent between 45 and 90 degrees and then lower yourself down, ensuring your back is as close to the chair as possible," said Catherine. "Finally, straighten your arms to finish the movement and repeat 20 times. You can look at doing this in between meetings or even during your laptop break."
Chair squats help build up the strength in your leg muscles, reducing the risk of leg issues when you're older such as weak bones and varicose veins. The chair helps to provide added support as you work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
"For this exercise, you'll need to stand up from your chair and lower your body back down just inches from the chair, ensuring that you don't sit down," she added. "Be sure to keep your weight on the heels, not the toes, and stand back up again. Repeat this movement 20 times. If you struggle to get to the gym, these are great for getting you moving, and all you need is a chair."