With so many of us sitting at work for hours each day, a combination of very little movement and staring at screens for prolonged periods of time can lead to some pretty negative consequences.
A sedentary lifestyle has been cited as a leading cause of death and gradual heart issues, diabetes, some forms of cancer and a lack of efficient blood flow throughout the body can all follow.
It probably doesn’t help if you have bad posture too. Here are a few handy and potentially effective exercise tips that are so simple to perform that you may even be able to do them at your desk.
One of the main problems with sitting for prolonged periods of time is the effect it can have on the lower back. This can lead to tight and achy sensations. The twisting stretch can help gently work out the internal tension within that area.
In a seated position, put your feet flat on the floor and then contract the abs and gently rotate your torso towards the right and left. You can grasp the handles on the chair with your hands and push slowly for a deeper stretch. Be careful not to overdo it. Twist as far as you can while still being comfortable and keep your back straight the whole time.
It’s a good idea to get some blood flowing in your upper body’s muscles every once in a while. In between work breaks, consider performing a few triceps dips. This can be a great quick workout and can even sharpen your focus when you get back to work.
Use a stationary chair (not wheeled) for your triceps dips. Position yourself right at the front of the chair and place both hands on top of the seat with hands facing forward. Bend your elbows and your knees, lowering yourself down several inches before pushing back up to complete one rep, straightening your arms as you move upwards. Keep your back as close to the chair as possible. Try doing about 15 to 20 dips per set.
Hip flexor stretch
A lot of stress and tension can accumulate in the lower body (especially in the front section of the hips) when you sit for too long.
To perform the hip flexor stretch, stand up and shift your right leg back a few feet. Bend the back knee (similar to when you perform lunges) and lower your knees until you feel a slight stretch in the front of the right hip. Be sure to squeeze the glutes of the back leg to deepen the stretch. Hold that position for about 10 – 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Forward hip stretch
Maintaining some form of health while you work at your desk doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes, all you need to do is stand up and stretch. Some research points to the act of standing up every 20 minutes or so as being able to help you avoid excessive blood flow constriction. This can help protect you from a lot of the issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Stand up at your desk and just reach for the sky with your hands in the air. Give yourself a nice stretch for a few seconds. After that, consider pushing your hips forward to release the tension around the frontal area of your hip and crotch area, which is usually under a lot of stress when you’re in a seated position.
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