10 Ways to counter the effects of sitting all day
Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to chronic health problems. When you have a sedentary job, it can be hard to avoid being chained to your desk for up to 8 hours or more a day. So we've come to the rescue with deskercise — 10 easy ways you can counteract the effects of sitting.
Turn up the tunes and raise your arms in the air like you just don't care. Pretend you're at a disco while you're at your desk. Get your feet tapping and bop your head. Chair dancing improves circulation and the music enhances your mood and reduces stress. Try it for just a few minutes when you're having a busy day and we guarantee you'll feel better once you've cut loose.
All you need is a broken office chair and you can transform it into one of those "as seen on TV" ab-cruncher machines. Swivel around in circles and crunch to the side as you roll. It's a surefire way to get abs of steel. It only take a few minutes a day and will give you a much-needed break from staring at the computer monitor all day.
Squats are one of the best calorie-burners you can do, as they use a variety of muscles in your body. With just one simple body movement you can firm and tighten your abs, firm your butt and increase your mobility and balance. All you have to do is simply put your hands directly out in front of you and stand up and then sit back down on your chair. Do this 20 times and you'll feel your buns start to burn.
Who said exercise had to be boring? Make sure you have a path clear of obstacles before sitting in your office chair and propelling it backwards, while moving your arms like you have imaginary oars. You don't have to row alone — synchronise your office rowing workout with a few colleagues. Office rowing is a good workout for your legs and arms. Just make sure the boss is out of the office before you duke it out with your colleagues for the title of champion of the office double scull.
More office-inspired workouts >>
Push your chair out of the way and let loose. There is no right or wrong way as you make your routine up on the spot. Throw in some aeroplane arms, gentle jogging on the spot and shake your booty. Just a couple of minutes will get your heart pumping.
There is no doubt chair lunges are one of the best exercises to shape your butt and legs so you look amazing in your skinny jeans. Place one foot behind you on your office chair and step out into a lunge. Drop until your thigh is parallel to the floor. You'll also improve your core strength and hip flexibility. Make sure your knee tracks over your ankle so you don't hurt yourself.
Turn getting rid of your unwanted office rubbish into a sport. With a bit of a run-up and a fast arm, a regular paper toss is transformed and will get your heart rate up. Reward yourself with a lap around the office for shooting a goal. As you get more skilled, move the rubbish bin further away.
The simple act of slowly rolling your shoulders backwards will help relieve tension and pain caused by sitting for long periods in front of your computer. The great thing about these exercises is they can be done while grabbing a coffee or talking on the phone to a client.
Tricep extensions will help tone and tighten your arms. Bend your arms at the elbows and lift them up behind you as far as you can. Then, while your arms are still behind your back, extend from the elbow, straightening your arm. Lifting your own body weight should give you enough resistance, but if you need more, find a book or a weighty stapler. Combine extensions with marching on the spot to get your heart rate up.
Sit on a Swiss ball
By just sitting on a Swiss ball (you don't even have to move), you are engaging your core muscles, which will help with your balance, general mobility, flexibility and good posture. If sitting is too boring for you, you can get more adventurous with gentle bouncing or balance on it on your knees while using your office desk to do push ups.