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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Work Out at Work: Easy Exercises to Do at Your Desk

Work Out at Work: Easy Exercises to Do at Your Desk

Another hour has flown by and you’re still at the computer. Your shoulder muscles are as tight as a stretched band. Your upper back is tingling; your neck aches and your knees are numb from crossing your legs. Does your job keep you chair-bound hours on end? Relief is only an exercise away. Break free from the sedentary confines, and give that desk chair new purpose. Within your work station, you can perform beneficial exercises that will invigorate, increase circulation, ease stress and tension, and build strength. These simple exercises can be done quietly in an office environment, without breaking a sweat. No equipment required.

Stay Active, Stay Healthy
Get up and move! Every hour do at least 2 exercises! This short series of exercises will help relieve stiffness, tension and de-stress, from the neck down. For safety, use a stationary chair, without rollers, for the following exercises.

Neck Side Stretch — Stand with arms down by your side. Raise the crown of your head, stretching your neck, and then tilt your head to the right. Raise your right arm and reach over to the left side of your head and gently push down. Hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat stretch on the other side. (This stretch can be done sitting, if you prefer.)

Shoulder Shrugs — Sit in an armless chair or on the edge of a stable chair, with arms at your sides. Lift your shoulders up toward the ears, squeeze, and hold several seconds. Roll shoulders and arms back, and then down.

Desk or Wall Pushups — Stand and put both hands on your desk. Take about 2 steps backward. Lower your body toward the desk, keeping your spine straight and do push-ups. (Pushups can be done against a wall, if you prefer.) Repeat for a total of 15 repetitions.

Frog Leg Squats — Stand about one foot behind a chair. Facing the chair back, place both hands on the top of the chair to steady yourself. Keep back straight as you turn feet slightly out, heels facing, and bend at the knees and elbows, squatting as far down as possible. Return to standing position and repeat squats for a total of 10 reps.

Calf Raises — Stand behind a stationary chair and place both hands on the top of the chair. With feet slightly apart, and back straight, raise both heels off the floor, until you are standing on the balls of your feet, contracting the calf muscles. Lower your heels to the floor and repeat for a total of 15 reps.

Important: If you experience tingling, numbness, pain, or have difficulty performing these exercises, stop and consult your chiropractic physician.

2 comments

1 Janet Lintz { 12.11.13 at 11:08 am }

I used to do similar moves when I was at the copy machine at work. People used to ask me if I had been a dancer! But the moves do help since most jobs now require people to sit at a desk. Also, good moves in between tv commercials at home. Thanks,

2 rwslas { 12.11.13 at 9:30 am }

Sounds like exercises I can do at my desk easily. Sit for hours on end so the neck side stretch and shoulder shrugs will really help me out immensely. Thanks for the suggestions.

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