Exercises to combat the desk job body
Office Chairs UK, 09/08/2016
We are often told that sitting for long periods can cause problems for our health. With many of us risking lasting damage just by sitting at our desks for up to 8 hours every day at work, could we be doing more to stay healthy? Sitting in the same position for hours on end can cause serious health issues that might not develop if we were to be more active.
A quick office poll found that the most common reason for this inactivity is because people believe that exercising outside of work will suffice, while others were simply unsure of what kind of exercises are best to do during office hours. This blog post looks to address these common misconceptions and provide helpful advice on staying healthy at your desk.
Why we need to do more
Many of us are very good at exercising outside of work, whether it’s at the gym, on the sports field or through other active hobbies, but if you're someone with a full-time office job, this may not be enough to address the damage that you’re doing while seated. Work out in the morning can actually be counter-productive if you proceed to sit down in front of a computer for the rest of day. This is because your posture at work could be undermining your workout sessions by leading to reduced recovery and repair time for your muscles. Some studies have even suggested that you could be at just as much risk as someone who doesn’t do any exercise outside of work.
Health problems to watch out for
Here are some things that you should be aware of when working at a desk, as well as health aspects that you should look to improve.
Sitting at your desk for extended periods has a poor effect on your body in general, not just for the obvious areas such as the spine and shoulders. It can increase the chances of illness such as heart disease and can put pressure on your joints. Staring at a computer screen for long periods of the day can cause problems with your eyesight, especially if the room is not properly lit or you are straining to see the screen. Even minor things such as the position of your keyboard or your desk set-up can negatively affect your body, from your wrists to your posture, but you combat these problems with some sensible solutions.
Although it might seem like a lot of effort, making a schedule to ensure that you work out through the day is a fantastic idea. Exercising and moving about during your work day is the first step to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as it allows the blood circulate properly in your body. Further from this, developing an exercise routine for working hours will help you to get up from your desk more often. Even just stopping to stretch every now and then can have a positive impact on your health. You should also make sure to take more walks throughout the day to get some extra exercise and movement. Many of us are guilty of driving distances that are actually very walkable, so make the effort to be active. You can improve your desk posture by organising it correctly, as suggest in our blog post here.
Exercises that you can do
There are some exercises that you can do to combat the desk job body and increase circulation. You can do these on their own or add them to the end of your normal workout as a cool down. Either way, they are a great place to start if you're serious about keeping fit and healthy.
- Reverse plank - This exercise involves sitting with your legs stretched out in front of your body, with your hands placed behind you, and fingers facing your body. Press your hips high while keeping your legs held together.
- Heel sit - Kneel on a mat with your legs and feet held together underneath you. Hold the position for up to 2 minutes to help increase the circulation in your legs.
- Lunge stretch - Kneel down and step one foot forward, with the other outstretched behind you. Shift your body weight onto your front leg and hold the lunge for around 10 seconds.