According to numerous studies, most people sit for as many as ten hours a day. It no wonder our back are aching when we are hunched over at our desks. With so much time at our desks we need to make some creative use of our chair time. So follow these five easy exercises for some muscle toning benefits.
Write the Foot Alphabet
How to do it: It beneficial to remove your shoes for this exercise. Have good posture in your chair with both feet firmly on the floor. Raise one foot around 12 inches off the ground, just so you swivel in all directions. Then with your large toe write the alphabet. Repeat with both feet.
Benefits: This exercise will help ankle strength and ankle flexibility. This will also aid in stretching your achilles tendon. It's also a great way to loosen the toes that may get painfully crunched up in shoes all day long.
How to do it: Practice good posture in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Tighten your glutinous maximus muscles (posterior or bottom muscles) for 10 seconds. Then relax, and repeat five to 10 times twice a day.
Benefits: You can do this exercise anywhere and it is a great strengthener of those muscles.
How to do it: Sit slightly forward away from the backrest on your chair, and lift one leg at a time about four to six inches off the ground. Then, tighten your leg muscle (quadriceps muscle) and hold for ten seconds. Relax and then repeat three times a day on each leg.
Benefits: Because this exercise works your quadriceps it may help knee and hip stability along with balance.
Tilting Your Pelvis
How to do it: Practice good posture in the middle of the chair with your feet firmly on the floor. Arch your lower back so your glutes and posterior feel like they are pointed outward. Move your hands to your desk and place them flat; make your abs do the work on this exercise. Pull your hips toward the front of your chair and then push them back to the seat of the chair, much like a stomach crunch exercise. Repeat this numerous times throughout the day.
Benefits: This exercise will help with strengthening your core muscles, by also working on flexibility of the lower back.
Chair Push Ups
How to do it: You can do this exercise if you have a chair with wheels on it at your desk. Sit in the middle of your chair, practice good posture and move your back away from the backrest. Lean forward until your chest is almost against your desk. Use your hands to grasp your desk and push yourself away from the desk. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart at your desk. Once you push yourself out, pull yourself and chair back in.
Benefits: During this exercise you use all your upper-body muscles and core muscles.
~Sean Hogan has coached hockey at the international and collegiate levels for over ten years. He has spoken at numerous events about culture building, goal setting and healthy lifestyles. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Recreation and Sports Science with an emphasis on Coaching Education from OHIO University.