Sitting at a computer for eight hours or more can lead to bad posture, eye strain, fatigue and mindless eating. Avoid these risks with tips and simple desk exercises from Balance Core Fitness personal trainer Eric Yamashita. Set a timer and encourage your office mates to join you for a mini-workout and energy boost.
• Position your chair so that you’re at eye level with your computer.
• Sit with your feet flat on the ground.
• Suck your tummy in, roll shoulder blades back and down, and lean back against your chair.
• Release pressure on your neck and keep your head up. “If you put your chin down, you’re likely to get a double chin,” Yamashita says.
1) Desk Push-ups
• Make sure the desk is secure or against a wall.
• Place hands shoulder width apart, step back a few feet and do push- ups with elbows at a 90-degree angle.
• Inhale going down and exhale pushing up.
• Reps: Two or three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
• Muscles worked: chest, shoulders, triceps, core.
2) Chair Squats
• Use a chair without wheels or put a chair against a wall.
• Feet should be shoulder width apart.
• Sit back into chair, but not all the way down. Hover a few inches above for two or three seconds – keep your abs tight – then return to a standing position.
• Reps: two or three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions.
• Muscles worked: quads (thighs), hams, glutes and core.
3) Rise & Shine stretch
• Start with feet a little wider apart than shoulder width.
• Squat back with head up and touch the floor.
• Stand all the way up on your toes, with arms extended straight overhead.
• Inhale up and exhale down.
• Reps: repeat 10 times, slowly.
• Muscles worked: calves, quads, hams, lower back, shoulders and core.
4) Runner’s Stretch
• Lean against a desk or wall with one foot forward and one back.
• Both feet flat on the ground.
• Bend the front leg and keep the back leg straight in line with the body, then switch legs.
• Reps: Once for each leg.
• Muscles worked: glutes, hams, calves and lower back.
Tip: Take a stroll and hydrate
“Walk to the water cooler or around the office. It’s good to get away from the computer and rest your eyes.” Yamashita says to get away from the desk to increase your circulation every 45 minutes to an hour.