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Work Out At Work: 10 Exercises To Do At Your Desk

Come on, 'fess up. When was the last time you worked out? Was it yesterday? Last week? Last month? Or even longer?

If it's been a while since you made time to exercise, you're not alone. Less than 5 percent of U.S. adults get the 30 minutes of daily activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. That's the bad news. The good news is you can sneak in exercise when you make office workouts part of your daily routine.

In addition to health benefits, performing desk exercises can help you beat fatigue, increase alertness and focus, and improve your mood. Even if you don't take the time to do desk workouts, just getting up every hour or so and moving around will improve blood flow, which can enhance concentration and spark creativity as well.

10 Stretches and Strength-Building Exercises to Do at Your Desk

Here are 10 exercises to do at your desk, with the suggested number of repetitions, or reps, to perform:

  • Desk squat — Stand up and then slowly bend your knees to lower your bottom, as if you were going to sit on a toilet seat behind you. Keep your knees behind your toes, then stand. Do 10 to 20 reps.
  • Triceps dip — Sit in a chair without wheels (or position your wheeled chair so it can't move) and perch your bottom on the edge of the seat, with your hands next to your hips, knees bent. Bend your arms as you lower your bottom a few inches below the seat of the chair and then press back up, keeping your bottom close to the seat. Do 8 to 12 reps.
  • Calf raise — Stand behind your chair and lift on your heels to your toes; slowly lower yourself down and then lift again. Do 10 to 20 reps.
  • Wall push-up — Stand a couple of feet from a wall and lean forward to place your hands shoulder distance apart on the wall. Bend your arms to lower your chest toward the wall before pushing back up. Do 12 to 15 reps.
  • Wall sit — Stand about 18 inches from a wall and put your back against it. Slide down until your knees make 90-degree angles and hold for 10 to 30 seconds before sliding up.
  • Chest stretch — Make the shape of a "T" with your arms at yours sides, thumbs up. Pull your arms back as you feel a gentle stretch across your chest; hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Shoulder stretch — Interlace your fingers above your head and reach toward the ceiling until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Standing stretch — Stand and reach your arms overhead; hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Abs lift — Sit with your back pressed against your chair. Engage your abdominal muscles (imagine drawing your navel toward your spine) and straighten your legs in front of you. Breathe normally (don''t hold your breath) as you hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

Making time for movement with these office exercises can help you stay focused and energized at work. In addition to exercises to do in the office, consider your choice of chair, too.

A customizable ergonomic chair can encourage proper posture, minimize neck and back pain, improve focus and concentration, and reduce the risk of sitting-related problems. Contact us at Concept Seating to learn more about how the chair you sit in can make you more productive — and help you feel better — all day long.