For some, the office desk is the core of their workday, the place where action items pile up awaiting completion, the hub of all activity constantly demanding some attention. While one’s office desk is typically the focal point of their workday productivity and mental activity, there is one thing it often suppresses: physical activity. The average American sits for almost 10 hours a day between eating, commuting, working, and relaxing. Yet, TIME Magazine has deemed sitting “the new smoking” due to the magnitude of health problems it can cause, such as reduced calorie-burning, disrupted blood sugar levels, increased insulin and blood pressure levels, and leg muscles switch off.
While the WaveOffice co-working experience includes access to a state-of-the-art fitness centers, wellness-centric community programming, and lush rooftop spaces, we understand it can be hard to step away from your desk on a busy day. However, you do not need to sacrifice your wellness for your work.
Here are five quick and easy exercises to keep you active at your desk:
The mere act of sitting causes hip flexors to shorten, leading to back and neck problems. Sitting with bad posture only amplifies these detriments. Shoulder raises relieve tension in your back and is a great reminder to sit-up straight when sitting. Sit on the edge of your chair with your back straight. Then, raise both shoulders to your ear and hold for 10 seconds, like the shrugging motion.
SEATED LEG RAISES
If you are looking for a more subtle exercise, seat leg raises are for you. Sit upright in your chair, then lift your leg parallel to the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. This exercise works your legs and abs and can furtively be completed underneath your desk. Add weight to your leg using your purse, briefcase, or a resistance band to build strength.
Believe it or not: yes, you can injure yourself while typing. As noted by Alan Hedge, director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Lab at Cornell University, 80% of employees in offices report discomforts related to work, and wrist aches from typing are common among them. Cat claws are a quick way to stretch your fingers and wrists before typing your first email of the day. Make a tight fist with your hand, hold for one second, then spread your fingers as far as possible. Repeat this exercise, and you might just achieve the flexibility of the felines it is named after!
Chair dips are the most strenuous exercise on this list, but they are guaranteed to get your blood pumping and activate the shoulders, chest, and triceps. As a note: this exercise should be performed on a chair without wheels. Place both hands shoulder-width apart while sitting on the edge of your chair and propel your legs out in front of you. Lift your tailbone off the chair one to two inches using your arms and core and keeping your fingers pointed forward. Hold the lifted position for 10 seconds, then lower the body and repeat the motion. Squeeze your triceps while in the lifted position. Repeat this exercise 15 times for the desired effect.
The only equipment required for this exercise is yourself! First, keep your hands by your side and stand with your back straight. Then, lift your body off the ground using the balls of your feet. Keeping your core tight, hold the lifted position for five seconds, then return to the starting position with your feet on the ground. Use your chair or desk for added stability if needed. This is the perfect exercise to do while waiting for your morning cup of coffee to brew.
At WaveOffice, wellness exists beyond our amenity spaces and community programming – it is integrated into the experience. We know the workday is busy. Your mind might be in a thousand places at once, but stopping for a minute to stretch and exercise is a great way to decompress, refocus, and break up the sedentary nature of working at an office desk.