By Assia Mortensen
Have you ever experienced an afternoon slump, in which your energy is drained, your shoulders are achy and your legs are stiff, from sitting at the computer too long? By performing exercises at your desk, you can help improve your circulation and keep muscles toned.
If you diligently stick with your desk workouts, over time, you can increase flexibility, and may prevent certain kinds of joint pain and stress injuries. However, check with your doctor or health professional before altering your present exercise routine or starting a new plan.
Try these simple exercises while seated at your desk:
While sitting in a chair, reach both arms straight up and look up at the ceiling. Reach each hand just a little further, as if you are picking cherries off a high branch. Repeat at least four times in order to help relieve stress in your arms.
Gentle head rolls release tension and may increase range of motion. Relax your shoulders and let your head roll forward. Slowly rotate the head to one side then the other. Repeat the motion gently four times. Next, gently tilt your head toward your right shoulder; then repeat the stretch on the left side. Breathe deeply and relax your shoulders as you perform this exercise.
To work out your legs, sit in your chair with your back straight and your arms at your sides. Lift one leg straight out in front of you and rotate the foot in a circular motion in both directions. Switch legs, extend the leg forward and rotate the other foot. Contract your stomach muscles then lift both legs in front of you. Increase the stretch by reaching for your feet.
It’s fairly common to hold a great deal of tension in the shoulders. Help reduce stress by shrugging both shoulders, then pushing them down again. As you press your shoulders down, sit with good posture and breathe deeply.
In addition, be sure to occasionally get up and walk around in order to improve your circulation and reinvigorate your system.
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Myers, C. Best exercises to do at your desk. Forbes Magazine. September 10, 2008. Accessed at http://www.forbes.com/2008/09/10/health-office-exercise-forbeslife-cx_cm_0910exercise.html May 30, 2012.
Mayo Clinic. Video: Forearm stretches for the work place. Accessed at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forearm-stretches/MM00709. May 30, 2012.