The world today encourages a sedentary lifestyle, due to more office work that requires you to sit behind your desk and also the increasing number of people working remotely and have absolutely no reason to hit the streets.
A sedentary lifestyle is linked to many health risks, including obesity, heart disease, a high cholesterol level and could even affect your posture. The solution to this is to be physically active, which seems almost impossible for a lot of people.
To bridge that gap between working out and actively working behind your desk, there are easy exercises you can perform right on your office chair. Below are some of them.
1. Ankle Rotations
This exercise helps loosen the muscles and tendons in your leg and foot, increase flexibility and also reduces the risk of a sprained ankle.
To do this, lift one foot and rotate your ankle thrice in both directions. Point and flex to the foot and repeat on the other foot.
This helps to strengthen the muscles in the legs and hips area.
To do this, simply clench your buttocks tightly for about 10 seconds or more, then release it and repeat.
3. Arm Stretches
Arm stretches help release tension and increase flexibility in the arms.
To do this, simply stretch your right arm far to the left as much as you can, while supporting it with your left hand to keep it in that position for 5 seconds or more. Repeat the process on the other arm.
4. Leg Lifts
Leg lifts help to strengthen the thigh muscles, abdominal and core muscles and the lower back muscles.
To do this, keep your feet flat on the floor, then raise both legs up, one at a time. Each lifted leg should be at the level of the underside of the desk. Hold the position for as long as you can and keep repeating on both sides.
5. Calf muscle toning
This helps to stabilize the ankles and feet and strengthen the calves, thereby reducing the risk of ankle rolling.
To do this, raise your legs up while seated and remain in the position for 10 seconds or more and try again.
6. Leg Planks
Leg planks help strengthen the core, legs, glutes, and shoulders. They also help strengthen and tone the whole body, while improving posture and stability.
To do this, sit at the edge of the chair with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Then, extend your right knee to keep it parallel with the floor. Remain in that position for 10 seconds or more and repeat on the other leg.
7. Foot Drill
Foot drill is often done in a soldier setting and can also be seen among football players during practice. The idea is pretty much the same in this case.
Simply keep tapping your feet against the floor for about 30 seconds or longer while still seated.
8. Shoulder Raises
Shoulder raises help to increase shoulder mobility and could also benefit the core and muscles in the upper back, arms and neck. It is a great exercise to do to help relieve tension in your neck from long hours of sitting.
Raise your shoulders close to your ears and remain in the position for 10 seconds or more. You can also do one shoulder at a time.
9. Back Twist
This exercise helps to strengthen the back muscles and reduce back pain.
To do this, place your right arm behind your right hip while still seated. Then, twist to your right side and remain in the position for 10 seconds before repeating on the other side.
10. Tricep Dips
This helps to strengthen the upper body and improve flexibility; it is also effective in strengthening the triceps, shoulders, and arms.
Place your hands on the armrests of your chair and move your butt to the edge of your seat. Then, straighten your arms slowly, with a little bend in your elbows, as you lift yourself off the chair. Stay in that position for 10 seconds, then repeat.
11. Take a walk break
While this is not an exercise to be done while seated, it has been proven to have many health benefits.
Walking helps to increase cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, it improves conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, and diabetes. It is also helpful for stronger bones and improved balance.
Simply take frequent walk breaks and walk around your house or office to release tension in your muscles.
If you spend a lot of hours on your office chair, you need to try out some of these exercises and be consistent with them. With time, you will notice changes in your body and will be at a lesser risk of developing some health issues.