Contrary to what people might think, work-related disorders aren’t just limited to those who work in heavy manufacturing or construction. They can, in fact, occur in all work environments – including office spaces.
This is because repetitive motion – such as the ones eight in 10 American office workers are prone to doing – can actually cause musculoskeletal disorders, health issues and even injuries. These include injuries such as:
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Obesity and metabolic syndrome
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Chronic stress
- Lower back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
In addition, the Mayo Clinic noted that spending more than four hours in front of a computer screen can actually increase your risk of death by any cause by 50 percent, not to mention a 125 percent risk for cardiovascular diseases. (Related: Need a workout that is quick and easy that you can do almost anywhere? Jumping rope gives you a full-body workout in 5 minutes.)
Don’t worry though — you can still be physically active even in the confines of your office. Just follow these simple exercises that you can do without ever leaving your desk:
Neck and shoulder stretches
Before you get started with any exercise, make sure you get rid of the tension that could have built up in your neck and shoulders. Doing so will allow you to move freely and painlessly.
- Drop your chin and roll your head around
- Roll your shoulders both ways, and stretch your arms
These stretches are especially useful for people who spend hours in front of their computers typing. Not only will these wrist stretches help relax your hands, but they can also relieve them of any pain.
- Lift your palms, stretch your arms and then press your palms into each other.
- Shake your hands to get rid of any tension then do wrist curls while using water bottles as weights.
This exercise is perfect for those who feel like their workouts aren’t complete if they don’t have their daily dose of cardio.
- Stand up away from your desk and assume a running stance.
- Instead of running in place, however, focus on bringing your knees as high as you can.
- Stretch your hands out and tap the palms with your knees to make sure you’re doing the exercise correctly.
TIP: Start with a minimum of three sets of 20 repetitions. Increase your repetitions as you progress.
Seated Leg Raises
If you feel like you’re in the mood for compound exercises, this one, which targets three specific muscle groups – the quadriceps, hamstrings and the glutes – might just be for you.
- Sit upright in your office chair. Make sure the chair is stable.
- Straighten your left leg so that it is parallel to the floor. Hold it in place for 10 seconds.
- Do the same thing with your right leg.
TIP: Repeat both legs for 15 repetitions. Once you have grown accustomed to the routine, try looping your purse or bags on your legs while you do the raises
Desk push-ups are a great addition to your office workout routine especially since, for an upper-body exercise, they don’t really demand and special equipment aside from a stable desk.
- Place your palms at the edge of your desk and move your feet away from the desk until you are inclined towards it.
- Slowly lower your chest down towards the desk while breathing in, and then push yourself back up.
- Repeat as many times as you can.
TIP: As with all push-up exercises, this will work best if you are wearing the right footwear.
Office workouts are a great way to squeeze in some exercise even during a busy workday.
Do these exercises whenever you have the time so you can rid yourself of stress and negative energy and relieve any aches or pain that could affect your mood later in the day.