The average office worker spends between 7 and 10 hours at a desk in a sedentary position. Meetings, reviews, and even mealtimes are usually spent seated—a position that doctors and medical researchers consider harmful to your long-term health and wellbeing. Observational research has revealed that sedentary workers are at double risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and Type II Diabetes. Prolonged sitting is also believed to increase the risk of certain types of cancers.
Standing and walking are some of the lifestyle changes that can help you overcome the adverse effects of being seated all day. However, exercising in your chair is a far more efficient alternative to investing in expensive standing desks or inconveniencing colleagues and visitors. Even a few repetitions of simple exercises can improve circulation and help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle at work.
The Wooden Leg Stretch
This exercise targets several muscles in your legs and can help prevent blood clots in your legs. It is also very effective for those who suffer from varicose veins. Sitting in your chair with your back well supported, extend your leg in front of you and raise it as high as you can under your desk. For greater intensity, stretch your toes towards you and repeat the exercise in each leg 15 times.
The Neck Flex
Sit upright in your chair without slouching and look straight ahead. Slowly tilt your head sideways towards the tip of your shoulder to a 45-degree angle and hold the position for ten seconds before you return to an upright position. Do ten repetitions for each side to warm up the muscles and prevent that painful crick in the neck.
The Ankle Propeller
This exercise, which is an extension of the Wooden Leg Stretch, allows you to exercise the ankle joints that tend to become stiff due to inactivity and the cold temperature in an air-conditioned environment. With your legs stretched out in front of you, stretch your toes out as much as you can and draw a circle in the air with your big toe. Repeat 10 times in each ankle.
The Pillow Scrunch
Strengthen and tone the much-ignored muscles of the inner thigh with a hard exercise pillow. With your back upright and knees at right angles to the ground, place the pillow between your knees and attempt to bring your knees together against the tension of the pillow. Tighten the lower and upper thigh muscles for a complete toning exercise that should be repeated about 20 times.
The Praying Hands
Keep your feet flat on the floor with your elbows held up and away from your body. Place each of your palms against the other. Gradually, push your palms together until you feel the tension in your forearms. Hold this position for 20 seconds and release. Repeat the exercise 5 times for stronger forearms and wrists.
Today, we spend more time at our desks than anywhere else in the world. Combating the adverse effects of prolonged sitting is as simple as adopting a few simple exercises into your daily regimen while at work.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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