We spend a bulk of our day sitting – in our cars, on public transport, at our desks, and while eating, for example. Many of us have sedentary jobs and engage in sedentary activities after work. Health officials tell us that sitting all day poses unwelcome health risks, but what are desk-bound workaholics to do?
The answer? Take routine breaks during long periods of sitting. Here are some desk exercises you can pick up in a pinch. You won’t even have to leave your seat!
1. Modified L-Sit
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As Ellen Degeneres does ever so often, grab the arms of a sturdy chair, draw your low belly in and your shoulders down your back as you press into your hands to lift your entire body up. Try to hold for counts of 10 and repeat 10x. Try to look as cool as Ellen Degeneres while you do it.
2. Tricep dip
This movement is a fat-busting arm and core manoeuvre that can easily be done with a sturdy chair or desk. Just place your hands on the edge of your chair or desk, then slowly lower yourself into position by bending your elbows, making sure your elbows are at a ninety-degree angle. Feeling adventurous and strong? To increase the level of intensity, straighten your legs for added burn. Do this 10x.
3. Knee pull-in
This movement works your abdominal muscles. Sit tall in your chair and avoid resting your back against the chair. Engage your abdominal muscles and extend both legs in front of you. Keep your feet together and bring both knees in toward your body, making sure you keep your ab muscles engaged the entire time. Repeat 10x.
4. Torso twist
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If you have a swivel chair, this is a fun exercise for you.
Sit upright and hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumbs; pick up your feet, but keep them feet flat and parallel to the floor . Suck your stomach in and use your core as the axis to swivel the chair from left to right and vice versa. The key is not to use your arms. Do at least 4-5 sets of 20 rotations (1 rotation is 1 left-right-left set).
5. Seated leg raise
A good way to strengthen your quadriceps even when stuck on a phone conference call. While seated (check for good posture) with hands on the chair, slowly extend one leg in front of you. Hold for two seconds before slowly lowering your leg back to the floor. Repeat with the other leg. Do this 20x.
A mini-break every hour makes a difference to your health. Simply moving about, marching in place, or dancing about for a couple of minutes every hour can help to lower blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol and waist size. Set a reminder on your desk and get to it!