7 Simple At The Desk Exercises To Improve Your Productivity
Sitting all day is not ideal for your health and productivity. The best thing to do is to get up, leave your desk, and move around. However, doing that, as easy as it seems, can be challenging. Most people find it hard to leave their desks because there are deadlines to be met, emails to be answered, and a myriad of other things to do in a typical workday.
Luckily, there are a couple of movements and exercises you can do right at your desk. They will help you to stay fit and make you more productive. They don’t take the place of a normal exercise routine but they keep your blood moving and make your body produce dopamine. The latter has the desirable effect of giving you the same pleasure you derive from eating chocolate or accomplishing something good. When you next fancy a breather, try one or more of the following simple exercises:
The Vacuum Exercise
This is one of the easiest exercises to execute. It is also effective because it works your core muscles, particularly the Transverse Abdominus (TVA). The TVA helps hold the core in place and it also supports the spine when the arms and legs are in use The TVA is also referred to as the corset muscle because it holds in the protruding gut.
If you are working in an environment where you don’t want to attract attention to yourself and distract other people, the vacuum exercise will be perfect.
Sit straight and firmly in your chair in such a way that you don’t lean in on your backrest. Holding this position, take a deep breath and then exhale pushing all the air out and expanding your chest. As you exhale, pull your belly button in as if you want it to touch your spin. Do three sets with each set lasting a minimum of 20 seconds. As you get used to it and the exercise becomes easier, try to make your sets go for as long as one minute each.
Sit in your chair with your back straight and the feet rested on the floor. Lift one leg off the ground and straighten it Ensure that the straightened leg is level with your hips. Keep the foot up for 2 seconds before you lower it back to the ground. Repeat the exercise with your other foot. Repeat the exercise for 20 reps. As the exercise becomes easier, increase the period of time each foot stays up.
Sit upright in your chair with your feet on the floor and your abs in Lift either foot off the ground with the knee bent and hold it in the air for 2 seconds. Lower the raised foot to the ground and repeat with the other foot. Do at least 20 reps then take a break. As the exercise gets easier, increase the amount of time the feet stay suspended in the air.
Perform this exercise, you have to be in a standing position. Get off your chair and stand tall with the feet touching each other and the big toes together. Hold your arms together as you would if you were praying. In this position, lift one foot off the ground and plant its sole on the inner side of the standing foot above the ankle. Stay in this position maintaining a straight core and even hips. Don’t forget to breathe.
Repeat the exercise using the other leg, holding the position as long as you can each time As the exercise gets easier, move the sole of the foot higher along the standing foot but just below the knee joint. Then you can progress further by moving the sole above the knee joint. Do not place the sole on the knee joint of your standing foot.
Improvised Boat Pose
This exercise resembles the boat pose done in yoga. It is analogous to the hip flexion. Sit tall in your chair with your feet resting firmly on the floor and the knees touching each other. Lift both feet off the floor to a height of approximately six inches with the knees still touching. Keep your back straight and flex your core muscles in what will feel like a normal plank. With more practice, you can move your feet up and down two inches about the original mid-air resting position. Keep the feet up for 20 seconds. Do three sets of the exercise.
Since we tend to hunch forward as we work at our desks, this exercise is meant to stretch the neck and upper back muscles. For this exercise, ensure that the chair is not leaning on the wall or anything that will restrict the space behind it Sit all the way in your chair until you are leaning on the backrest. Place both hands at the back of your head. Lean your head back allowing your spine to wrap over the back of the chair until you face the ceiling. Repeat the movement 20 times.
Take up a wide stance with the toes pointing out and the heels facing each other. The knees should align with the hips and should stay in line with your toes. Keep the torso straight as you bend the knees until your butt rests between your feet. Ensure that the heels stay planted to the floor throughout the exercise. Rise up and repeat the exercise for 10 reps.
These exercises are not tough but they can keep you refreshed throughout the day. You can do enough reps to give yourself a rush of dopamine. They may even inspire you to start going to the gym at the end of your workday for intense workout sessions.
The time we spend gaming, studying, and at our day jobs confines us to our desks with little time, if any, to take a break. We generally neglect exercise and movement making us suffer poor posture and related body pains. These simple exercises are what you can do to rejuvenate your body and improve your productivity.