Ever wondered why you head home with aching shoulders and a sharp pain in your legs after being seated at work all day?
Desk jobs may not seem physically taxing, but they can certainly cause physical problems. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns including increased blood pressure and cholesterol, high blood sugar, weight gain and lowered metabolism. In the UAE, where working 8+ hours shifts or more than 40 hours a week is common, staying in shape has to become a priority year round.
Here’s how you can do it. First, swap those late night fast food binges for some early evening healthy meal. Then, get moving. Use the stairs to get to work, choose a parking spot as far as possible from the building and take regular breaks in order to increase time spent on your feet.
But that’s not the real secret to staying fit on the job. You need more. You need to deskercise! Sneak in these quick moves while you’re at your desk to improve circulation, correct posture and keep weight under control.
Chair SquatsThis one is great for your hamstrings, quads and calves. Stand in front of your chair. Bend your knees and lower your butt toward the seat and let it briefly touch the edge of the chair. Stand back up. Do it 15 times.
Chair Leg RaisesStrengthens your lower abdomen. While seated, raise one of your legs. Keep it straight by flexing at the hips. Stop once it is parallel to the floor. Pause for about 10 seconds; then lower it. Do one leg at a time.
Calf RaisesPerformed standing, this will help strengthen your lower legs. Hold on to the back of your chair. Then lift yourself as high as you can on your toes. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat.
Shoulder Blade SqueezeSpending too much time hunched over your computer? This is a great move to correct your posture. Stand straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a moment; then roll your shoulders back and down.
Push-UpsPlace both your hands on your desk and walk back to a 45 degrees angle. Press down on your arms, then back up. Do at least 12 pushups daily to strengthen your arms.
Bench PressWith books! Grab the biggest volume you can find and hold it behind your head. Bring it down to your neck; then extend your arms upwards. This is great for your triceps.
This World Health Day, pledge to deskercise more. After all, just because you're at work all day doesn't mean you can't exercise!
Find more great ideas on how to achieve a work-life balance here.