According to stats by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not only are more than a third of adults in the US obese, but around 50% of Americans are not getting enough physical activity each week.
Especially for office workers, who spend the majority of their days at their desks, gaining extra pounds and accruing health problems related to sedentary behavior is a major concern. In fact, while having an ergonomic office setup is important to reducing strain on your body, getting up and moving around is just as important.
As a plus, you can put your desk chair to work in more ways than one. Here are some tips for keeping your blood flowing while at the office and a few easy office chair exercises to try.
Sit with Good Posture
Unless you work in a private office or where no one will notice how often you get up and move around, most office workers realistically will still be spending most of their time seated. As a result, always sitting with good posture is even more important.
Slouching or slumping when you work only puts additional strain on your body and can leave you sore and aching (as well as even less interested in moving around). In addition, while sitting properly, you can discreetly work on your abdomen or do kegel exercises by simply contracting, holding, and releasing those muscles periodically.
Stand and Walk Often
Whether it’s getting another drink, going to the restroom, bringing a document to a coworker, or just going for a short walk, take advantage of every opportunity you have to stand up and move around.
It’s easy to be lazy, but even just standing at your desk organizing files or doing some other task is better since it lets your body change positions and burns just a few more calories than sitting does.
Set Yourself Up
Staying physically active in an office setting is challenging, so it requires a little bit of mental fortitude on your part. Resist the temptation to take the easy way out. Use your daily work routine to set yourself up for more exertion than usual.
If you can’t do things like bike to work, park your car further so you have to at least walk across the lot. Set a brisk pace instead of an amble. Get your muscles moving and heart pumping by always taking the stairs (two at a time if you can) instead of riding the elevator.
Chair Stretches and Squats
To open up and stretch your chest, shoulders, and back while sitting, pull your arms back and reach as if you were trying to touch a pencil taped to the back of the chair.
For a full body exercise, try using your desk chair as a workout buddy. After making sure the chair is stable (wedged against a wall for rolling chairs), try chair squats. Each time you come back to your chair, squat and hover over your seat with a straight back and arms extended for 10 seconds before standing back up. Do as many repetitions of this as you can.