If you work in an office nine to five, chances are you’re not getting enough physical activity during the day. You can go to the gym before or after work. Or you can exercise at work in your office chair. Today we’ll tell you about some easy office chair exercises that will help you stay fit and healthy.
Of course, these exercises won’t get you to the Olympics. But they will strengthen your muscles, stretch your back and tone your whole body. By incorporating office chair exercises into your workout routine on a regular basis, you can get flatter abs, stronger core and prevent extreme tiredness at the end of the day.
Sitting causes back pain, headaches and procrastination. Sitting at a desk all day long without short breaks makes avoiding distractions so difficult. That’s why taking breaks at work is important. Exercises during your breaks shine new light on the whole concept of how to be more productive and fit.
Stretching exercises in an office chair
- neck stretch: slowly flex your head forward and backward, side to side, then look right and left. Avoid rolling your head around your neck, it can damage the neck joints
- shoulder stretch: roll your shoulders forward 10 times, then backward
- wrist stretch: extend your arm in front, palm up and grab the fingers with the other hand. Gently pull the forearm, holding for up to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Roll your wrists regularly (10 times clockwise, then 10 times counterclockwise). It reduces the risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome if you type a lot
- wrist and forearm: press your hands together in front of your chest, with your elbows bent and parallel to the floor. Gently bend wrists to the left and right for 10 repetitions
- chest stretch: open your arms wide as if to hug someone, pull your shoulders back and rotate your wrists externally (thumbs going up and back); this stretching exercise prevents you from hunching in front of the keyboard
- lower back stretch: sit straight and place your left arm behind your left hip. Softly twist to the left, using your right hand to deepen the stretch. Hold for about 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side
- ankle stretch: roll your ankles in a clockwise motion 3 times, then counterclockwise; this exercise increases blood circulation
Office chair workout with equipment
- exercise with a bottle: sit straight with the abs tight and hold a full water bottle in your left hand. Lift the bottle up to shoulder level, pause and continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow, taking the water bottle behind you and contract your triceps. Lower down and do 10 repetitions on each arm
- exercise with a hand gripper: when you read something at work and there’s no need to use your hands often, benefit from this opportunity and squeeze your gripper; it’s a great forearm office exercise
- stability ball and elastic band: they will help you improve your posture and stretch your muscles; read on if you want to know how to use your exercise ball at work
Exercise in the office chair to tighten your stomach
We are made to live an active life, not sit at a desk from morning till night. Doctors recommend at least half an hour of moderate activity five days a week. Exercising in the office chair is one of the great things to help you stay focused at work and approach your healthy level of activity.
So how to exercise in the office chair to get a flat toned stomach and strong core:
- use an exercise ball instead of your office chair: this way, you will be forced to hold your abs tight while you keep your balance
- strengthen your core: sit up straight on your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your right foot up and bend your knee as you bring it toward your upper body. Try to avoid moving your hips. Bring your leg back down to the floor, then repeat with the opposite leg. Do 16 repetitions (8 on each side), take a break and do another set
- tummy tuck: just squeeze your stomach while you’re working at your office desk; then relax your abs as you inhale deeply. As you breathe out, squeeze your belly button to your spine as hard as you can. Hold this position for about ten seconds and feel your muscles contract. Release, then repeat for a total of 3 sets of 8 every day
- pelvic tilt: keep your back straight and both feet on the floor, with your knees bent 90 degrees. Breathe in deeply, then as you breathe out, tilt your pelvis under until you feel the muscles in your lower belly contract. Hold for full exhale and relax as you inhale. Do up to 12 repetitions. This exercise will tighten your lower abs
Before you start exercising in your chair, make sure you don’t have any injuries or illnesses. Check your office chair, see if it’s sturdy enough. If the chair has wheels, push it against a wall so that it doesn’t roll away. If you’re not sure about your new exercise program, consult your health-care provider before starting.
Exercises while sitting in an office chair: inner thighs
Now that you know about the benefits and effect of a moderate office chair workout routine, the good old ‘no-time-to-exercise’ excuse won’t work. Instead of spending the majority of your working day sitting, exercise during your short breaks. This way you will strengthen your muscles, even those jiggly inner thighs.
Do the following exercises while sitting in an office chair if you want to tighten them pesky inner thighs without leaving your office:
- outward resistance: sit on your chair with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Start with your knees hip-width apart and place the palms of your hands on the inside of your knees. Press your knees together while simultaneously pressing outward with your hands to add resistance to the movement. Once your hands touch, return to the starting position. Do up to 20 reps
- magic circles: sit at the edge of your office chair, your left leg bent and your foot flat on the floor. Hold the edges of your chair to stabilize your upper body. Extend your right leg and lift it so that it is horizontal with the floor. Slightly lean your torso back. Start moving your extended leg in a circular motion (in a clockwise direction). After completing 10 circles switch directions and complete 10 more reps. Switch legs and repeat the exercise in both directions
- leg raise: sit straight in your chair and extend your legs to the front. Bend your right leg and cross it over your left leg to make your right ankle rest on your left shin. Grasp the edges of your chair to stabilize your torso. Contract the muscles on your inner thigh and, keeping your right leg bent, lift it as high as possible. Hold the position for seven seconds and lower back to the starting position. Do up to 10 reps, then switch legs and repeat with your left leg
If you’re worried that your office workout might look silly, forget it. When your colleagues notice your much better shape, they will swap their chairs for stability balls in a wink. Of course, your office chair workout won’t replace the traditional strength training, but it’s a good way to keep your blood moving and stimulate your brain power.