When I think about how people worked 30 years ago, I think about manual labor. The kind that requires 12 hours a day full of blood, sweat, and tears. But we have seen a loss of over 7,000,000 manufacturing jobs in the past three decades. That a decrease of nearly 40% from what we had in 1979! So where did all of those jobs go? As we have entered a digital age, they migrated to sitting for over eight hours a day behind a desk. And that’s not a bad thing necessarily – IF we can find ways to stay active at work. So here are my favorite desk exercises to keep you moving at work.
Desk Exercise #1 – Calf Raises
Stand at your desk and move up on your tip toes. Stay in the raised position for three seconds and then move back down to a flat foot position. Repeat this ten times for three different sets.
Desk Exercise #2 – Hip Flexions
This exercise lets you work while you get a work out. Keep you leg bent and lift your right leg a couple of inches off the ground. Hold it there for five seconds and then put it back down. Repeat this for your left leg. Do both legs ten times.
Desk Exercise #3 – Leg Extensions
While you are sitting at your desk, extend your legs directly out in front of you and hold for three seconds before you bring your legs back down. Repeat that motion ten times for three sets.
Desk Exercise #4 – Shoulder Shrugs
Roll your shoulders forward in a big circular motion 10 times. Then do it in the reverse direction ten times. Repeat both directions for three sets.
Desk Exercise #5 – Chair Dips
Make sure your chair is stabilized and sit down in front of the chair. While your feet stay on the ground in front of you with straight legs, use your arms to push yourself up and then lower yourself back down. Repeat this ten times for three sets.
Desk Exercise #6 – Assisted Push Ups
Use a wall, a door, or the side of a cubical to lean against with your hands straight out in front of you in push up position. Do five sets of 10-20 push ups against the wall.
Desk Exercise #7 – Invisible Squat Holds
While you are sitting at your desk, lean forward and lift yourself off the seat by an inch or two. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then sit back down. Repeat this ten times throughout the day.
Desk Exercise #8 – Hand Grip Exercise
Grab a tennis ball or something that can be similarly squeezed and work through 3 sets of 10 reps of the following: Squeeze the object and hold for three seconds. Release for five seconds. Then squeeze the object and hold for the second rep.