Feel Better, Work Better
Ever feel like you need to get moving more during your work day? Many UK office workers spend up to 8 hours a day sitting at their desks – and unsurprisingly, the human body isn’t really suited to such a sedentary lifestyle. However, there are several things you can try in order to get your body moving more during your working day… here’s our favourite desk-based exercise tips!
IMPORTANT NOTE: These exercises are intended to be a fun and helpful way to keep you moving a little more at work. But don’t push them too far – you know your body best, and it’s better to ease yourself into it gently than risk an injury.
1. Give that back a stretch!
Let’s start with an obvious culprit for office-based aches and pains – your back!
Sit with a straight back on your office chair, take a deep breath in and reach your arms up as high as you can. As you exhale, start to lean your arms and body gently backwards, so your eyes are travelling along the ceiling to look slightly behind you. Hold this for a few seconds, then release your arms down to your sides. Repeat this a few times to stretch your back out.
2. Work the wrists
Now it’s time to give your wrists some attention, to stop the aches and pains that can come from working with a keyboard and mouse all day.
Hold one arm out in front of you, fingers pointing up to the ceiling and palm out, and grab your fingers with your other hand. Pull them gently towards you for 20-30 seconds to give your forearms a stretch.
Then, press your hands together in front of your chest, with your elbows bent and arms parallel to the floor. Gently move your hands to the left and right for about 10 reps.
3. Twist and shout (okay, maybe best not to shout…)
Time to pay attention to your back and core again with a good twist.
Sit with a straight back on your office chair, then take a deep breath in. As you exhale, twist to one side from the bottom of your spine, so that your abdomen is stretching more than your upper back. Grab your armrest on one side to help you find the right position to hold the stretch, and then breathe into it for a few seconds. Repeat this to the other side.
4. Don’t skip leg day
Get your legs moving under the desk – sit with a straight back and raise your lower leg until it’s as straight as you can comfortably get it. Now gently raise your leg up from the chair, hold it there for a few moments, then lower and repeat with the other leg.
Don’t forget to double check where things are under your desk before you start this one, and move your chair out as appropriate – no one wants to accidentally kick a pedestal!
5. Sit down (yes, really…)
To finish… office squats! By which we mean, standing up from your chair, then sitting back down on it, and repeating this several times to get your abdomen and legs working.
Once you’ve done some repetitions, you really can sit down again… hopefully feeling a bit more energised, stretched out and ready to get back to work!
For extra turn-your-office-into-a-gym points, get ready to improvise some bicep curls… by using a full water bottle!
Grab your bottle in one hand, and with your back straight, bring it towards your shoulder. Lower it again, and repeat.
Then as a finishing touch, make sure you drink all that water during your working day, and refill the bottle too…
We hope this has given you some inspiration to get moving more in the office, and feel the benefits of some office exercise yourself!
Join us next week for Part 3 of Feel Better, Work Better!
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