Just because you’re stuck in your office chair doesn’t mean you can’t exercise there. And it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, either. As we’ve mentioned before, staying put at your office chair can be hazardous to your health. The office can do real damage to your body if you’re not careful – repetitive strain injuries, lumbar pains, muscle tension, and other very real problems can strike if you don’t do something to ward them off.
Yoga poses can be just the thing the doctor ordered. Certain yoga techniques can be performed even without getting up from your office chair; such office chair yoga techniques can relax sore muscles, release spine tension, and provide an overall restorative effect to your poor overworked body for the short term.
In the long run, your body will gain relaxed muscles, added flexibility and tone, added strength, and a greater sense of calm. All that with regular exercises done from your office chair – how cool is that? You don’t have to make time in your schedule, book a trainer, or find a secluded place in your office to do the exercises we’ve listed below. The office chair, as it turns out, makes a great gym if you know what exercises to do.
The exercises below are brought to you by video producer MAKE | MEDIA and yoga instructor Cassie Naumann, a veteran fitness instructor and an expert in the styles of Lyenger, Ashtanga, Viny, and Hatha Yoga. (read more)
Office Chair Wrist Stretch
Let’s start with a simple exercise for workers tired of typing all day. By the end of the work day, your wrists should be killing you, and carpal tunnel syndrome may be stalking you as we speak. This simple wrist stretch can ward carpal tunnel off indefinitely by increasing blood flow into your wrists, and can be done from the comfort of your office chair.
Office Chair Side Stretches
Feeling strain on your spine and arms as you type that millionth report the boss wanted yesterday? Do this side stretch from the comfort of your office chair; it promises to flex your spine, rib cage, and arms, leaching the fatigue away as you sway those arms to the side like a tree in the wind.
Office Chair Spinal Twist
The spinal twist helps unkink your lower back, and can be done right at your office chair. This exercise requires that you sit tall then twist until you’re looking directly behind you – either at the wall or at your astonished colleague in the workspace behind yours.
A few things to remember: this exercise is best performed on a chair without wheels, as the twisting motion can move a wheeled office chair around. Just remember to exhale as you turn; your hips should be squarely on your seat, as your spine twists to its maximum possible extent.
Office Chair Forward Bend
This forward bend releases built-up tension in your spine and stretches the hamstring and lower back. This can also ease any back pain you may have from being stuck in an office chair all day.
This is perfect for a quick pick-me-up in between strenuous mental tasks; you’ll find your brain a little more optimized for work after you perform this stretch from your office chair!
Office Chair Deltoid Stretch
Deltoids are the muscle on the top of your arms. These don’t do any heavy lifting if you’re a white-collar worker, but a deltoid stretch affects the shoulder and back as well, with the added side benefit of being a perfect office chair exercise. Each stretch should be held for up to ten seconds for you to feel the maximum benefit.
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