by John Smith (if you’d like to guest post, check out our guidelines)
Just because your job requires you to stay put in front of your computer for long hours doesn’t mean you cannot exercise. Half your battle’s won if you practice the right posture. Keep your back straight, push your shoulders back, and ensure that your eyes are level with the top of your monitor. Rest your wrists on the table and not on the keypad. Bend your knees at 90% and keep your feet flat on the ground. These precautions should help keep back pain and wrist issues at bay, while you work out the rest of your body.
Here are 15 exercises that you can do right at your desk, sitting in front of your computer.
- Roll your shoulders forward and backward 10 times each to relieve tension and ease the muscles.
- Breathe in, lift your shoulders, crunch your neck, hold your breath for 30 seconds and then release your shoulders. Do this 10 times.
- Move each shoulder forward and backward alternatively, 10 times on each side.
- Stretch your neck forward, backward, to the left and right. This move reduces the strain on your neck, shoulders, and clears your mind.
- Clench your neck muscles until they’re taut. Hold for a few seconds and then release.
- Open your arms wide push your wrists and thumbs back and stretch your arms away from your shoulders. This will expand your chest and allow you to take in more oxygen. Repeat this exercise every hour or so.
- Breathe in, suck in your tummy, hold it in for a few seconds, and then release it as you breathe out. Repeat this move every few minutes during your day.
- Breathe in and pull in your pelvic floor muscles. Hold this position for a few seconds and then release.
- Grab a full water bottle and hold it up over your head. Keep this position for 30 seconds and alternate with your other arm.
- Sit straight, move your chair back and hold both your arms out straight in front of you. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax.
- Rotate your arms clockwise and anticlockwise 10 times on each side.
- Roll your wrists both clockwise and anticlockwise every now and then, at least 10 times with each wrist. Wrists are prone to Repetitive Stress Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; you can prevent these from occurring by constantly working out your wrists.
- Flap your wrists frontwards and backwards as though you’re serving a tennis ball. Repeat this move several times.
- Squeeze a hand gripper repeatedly for at least a minute with each hand. You can do this while reading something on your screen.
- Keep your palms straight in front of you, and spread your fingers as far as they will go. Keep the position for a few seconds and then release. Repeat several times.
- Get hold of exercise rubber bands or any strong, thick rubber bands. Loop a band around your forefingers and stretch it as far as you can and then release. Do this with your other fingers.
- Interlace your fingers and push your elbows apart. Do this as often as you can. The stretch feels good for fingers that have strained on the keyboard all day.
- Roll your ankles clockwise and anticlockwise every hour or so.
- Take off your shoes if possible, stand on your toes and lean back. Your ankles will strengthen with this exercise.
- Clench all your toes and release them after a few seconds.
- Move all your toes and allow air to pass between them.
- Stretch your leg out in front of you and pull back your feet. This stretches your calves. Hold this position for a few seconds and then release. Do it 10 times with both legs.
- Lift your legs on the balls of your feet; hold the position for a few seconds and then release. This exercise will prevent blood clots from forming.
- Breathe in, lift both legs together upwards towards your chest, keep your legs up for 30 seconds and release as you breathe out. Repeat every hour. This will pull at your thigh muscles and tighten them.
- Clench your butt and thighs and hold the position for 30 seconds. Release and repeat several times.
- Clench and unclench your buttocks alternately, holding them in the clenched position for 30 seconds each time.
- Clench both buttocks together and release them after 30 seconds.
- Push your shoulders back until they meet in the middle of your back. Push your body slightly forward and exercise your back muscles. Hold the position for a few seconds and then release.
- Keep your body straight and twist your upper body at the waist to the left and the right. Twist it as far as it will go, moving your head along with your waist. This will relax your back muscles, which take most of the strain during your workday.
- Shut your eyes twice every hour. Place the pads of your palms on your eyes and apply mild pressure. This will relieve eyestrain.
- Take your eyes off your monitor and let them wander around for a few seconds every now and then. This exercise keeps your eyes alert and reduces possible headaches and eye irritation.