Desk Workouts: 5 You Can Do Right Now

Sitting and Working

Remember that post recently about how sitting so long each day could take years  off your life? You may not be able to avoid sitting, but you can make it more productive for the rest of your body. Check this out:

Like you, Jill puts in 40 hours a week. Her role as software QA analyst  means she’s spending most of those 40 hours in her seat,staring at her  monitor. Breaks were few and far between, and mornings/evenings were  reserved for her family. Kind of a losing situation, right? Not if  you’re creative and willing to endure curious glances from coworkers.  Here are five workouts Jill began to do daily that helped keep her in  shape until she could get to the weekend and commit more time to  exercise:

Leg Extensions - while you’re seated, lift a leg and extend it. Hold it in  place for a few seconds, then draw an imaginary oval with it for a few  more. Do the same with your other leg. Repeat this move five or more  times a day for a good quad and core workout.

Desk dips - standing with your back to your desk and your hands resting on  the edge, slowly squat, keeping the workout on your triceps. Repeat  10-15 times, several times a day. For a bonus core workout, extend one  leg at a time while dipping.

Armrest Pushups - place your hands on your armrests, and slowly raise your  entire body, but without standing, then slowly lower yourself. Another  good tricep and core workout. For bonus points, fold your legs together, Indian style.

Chair Squats - lower your seat as far down as it will go,then stand in front  of it. Very slowly, begin to sit down, but keep your back straight and  your arms extended. Just as you’re about to sit, stand back up and  repeat the move. Do it 15 times, and stick your arms in the air for  slightly higher difficulty.

Desk Crunches - sit back in your chair a bit, keep your back straight, cross your arms over your chest just as if you were doing ground crunches,  then slowly contract your body forward. Focus the motion on your abs,  and do 3-5 sets of ten.

Really, if you can get out of your seat for 30 seconds, you can do just about  any exercise, including situps, pushups, or even jumping jacks. These  vigorous workouts may draw the attention of your coworkers more than the manager would care, so proceed with caution.

They’re not necessarily an “exercise,” but stretches are an important part of  any workout routine. Roll your neck from side to side, slowly. Turn your hands upside down and gently roll your wrists. Extend your arms  forward, bend your torso toward your desk and extend your legs. All of  these are helpful and perfectly acceptable ways to release the bodily  tension that naturally builds up from sitting and staring at a computer  all day.

Bonus tip: As we mentioned in the post about sitting, many workplaces will  accomodate requests for standing desks, stability balls, or even  treadmill desks. Asking your boss or HR rep can’t hurt.

Any other tips or suggestions? How do you stay fit despite your desk job?  Let us know in the comments!

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