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Revitalize Your Work Routine: Discover the Significance of Movement and  Desk Exercises

Revitalize Your Work Routine: Discover the Significance of Movement and Desk Exercises

The Importance of Movement and Desk Exercises

Do you spend most of your workday sitting at a desk? If so, you're not alone. Many of us spend long hours sitting at a computer, and it's no secret that sitting for prolonged periods of time can negatively impact our health. In fact, research has shown that sitting for more than six hours a day can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.


The good news is that incorporating movement into your workday doesn't have to be difficult. Exercises performed at your desk are a great way to increase physical activity and improve mental wellbeing without taking time away from work tasks. By incorporating movement into your workday, you can improve posture, increase energy levels, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. In this blog post, we'll explore different types of exercises that can be done at a standing desk or in your workspace to help you feel your best throughout the workday.

Easy Standing Exercises

Here are some easy standing exercises that can be done in your workspace:

Standing Hip Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Place your right foot on the desk or a step stool.
  3. Bend your left knee and push your hips forward.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Switch legs and repeat.

This exercise can help improve hip mobility and reduce lower back pain.

Calf Raises

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Raise your heels off the ground.
  3. Hold for a second.
  4. Lower your heels back to the ground.
  5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

This exercise can help strengthen the calves and improve ankle mobility.

Wall Sits

  1. Stand with your back against a wall.
  2. Slide down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Stand back up and repeat.

This exercise can help strengthen the quadriceps and glutes.

Standing Quad Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your right knee and bring your heel toward your buttocks.
  3. Grab your ankle with your right hand.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Switch legs and repeat.

This exercise can help improve hip mobility and reduce knee pain.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Raise your arms out to your sides, keeping them at shoulder height.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  4. Hold for 5 seconds.
  5. Release and repeat for 10-15 reps.

This exercise can help improve posture and reduce neck and shoulder pain.

Easy Standing Desk Exercises

Here are some easy standing desk exercises that can be performed with the help of your desk:

Desk Push-Ups

  1. Stand facing a desk or a wall.
  2. Place your hands on the desk or wall.
  3. Lower your body toward the desk or wall.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

This exercise can help strengthen the chest, arms, and shoulders.

Chair Dips

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of the chair, with your fingers pointing forward.
  3. Slide your buttocks off the edge of the chair.
  4. Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the ground.
  5. Push back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

This exercise can help strengthen the triceps and chest.

Desk Squats

  1. Stand facing a desk.
  2. Place your hands on the desk.
  3. Squat down, keeping your back straight.
  4. Stand back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

This exercise can help strengthen the legs and glutes.

Desk Lunges

  1. Stand facing a desk.
  2. Step back with your left foot and place it on the desk.
  3. Lower your body into a lunge.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Switch legs and repeat for 10-15 reps.

This exercise can help strengthen the legs and glutes.

Exercises While Sitting at Your Desk

If standing exercises are not practical for you, there are still ways to incorporate movement into your workday while sitting at your desk. Here are some exercises you can do while sitting:

Seated Leg Lifts

  1. Sit up straight in your chair.
  2. Lift one leg off the ground.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Lower your leg back down.
  5. Repeat with the other leg.
  6. Do 10-15 reps on each leg.

This exercise can help strengthen the legs.

Desk Shoulder Shrugs

  1. Sit up straight in your chair.
  2. Lift your shoulders toward your ears.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds. Lower your shoulders back down.
  4. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

This exercise can help reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.

Chair Leg Extension

  1. Sit up straight in your chair.
  2. Extend one leg out in front of you.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds. Lower your leg back down.
  4. Repeat with the other leg.
  5. Do 10-15 reps on each leg.

This exercise can help strengthen the legs and improve flexibility.

Other Tips for Increasing Movement During the Workday

In addition to incorporating these exercises into your workday, there are other tips you can follow to stay active and healthy. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Take Walking Breaks
    Taking short walking breaks throughout the day can help increase your overall movement and reduce the negative effects of sitting for extended periods. Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to take a short walk around the office every hour.

  2. Use a Pedometer or a Fitness Tracking App
    Wearing a pedometer or using a fitness tracking app can help you stay motivated to move more throughout the day. Set a goal for yourself to take a certain number of steps each day and use these tools to track your progress.

  3. Create a Routine
    Creating a routine that incorporates easy exercises and regular breaks into your workday can help make these habits stick. Schedule your exercise breaks at the same time every day and make them a non-negotiable part of your routine.

 

Small Changes Can Go a Long Way

Incorporating desk exercises and movement into your workday can have a significant impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. Not only can desk exercises help reduce the negative effects of sitting, but they can also improve posture, reduce stress, and increase energy levels. By following the exercises outlined in this blog post, you can improve your overall health and productivity at work. Remember, small changes in your daily routine can lead to significant improvements in your health and wellbeing over time.

 

Eve Guilbert began her exploration of the mind-body connection with classical ballet, which she practiced throughout her childhood. Being curious to learn more about the field of well-being and wanting to share her passion for movement, in 2006 she started teaching various disciplines of physical conditioning.

Learn more about Eve via her website


Sources:

  1. Pronk, N. P., Katz, A. S., & Lowry, M. (2012). "Reducing occupational sitting time and improving worker health: the Take-a-Stand Project, 2011." Preventing Chronic Disease, 9, E154. doi: 10.5888/pcd9.110323

  2. Buckley, J. P., Hedge, A., Yates, T., Copeland, R. J., Loosemore, M., Hamer, M., ... & Dunstan, D. W. (2015). "The sedentary office: a growing case for change towards better health and productivity. Expert statement commissioned by Public Health England and the Active Working Community Interest Company." British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(21), 1357-1362. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-094618

  3. Hwang, Y. T., Liang, H. W., Chen, Y. J., & Chen, C. Y. (2017). "The effects of standing desks on workplace productivity: A systematic review." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(12), 1447. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14121447

  4. Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). "10 tips for working at a computer." Harvard Health Letter. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/10-tips-for-working-at-a-computer

  5. American Heart Association. (2021). "Healthy for Good: Move More." Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/move-more

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