Have you ever thought about how much time you spend sitting in one day? After you wake up in the morning, you probably sit down to a hearty breakfast before your commute to work. Once you get to work, you may spend a little bit of time making coffee and catching up with coworkers, but then you take a seat at your desk and spend the rest of the day trying to make it through your agenda. If you’re behind, you may even have to eat lunch at your desk. And despite possibly having a few meetings to break up your day in the afternoon, they are all held around a conference table.
As you go about your daily routine, you’re not really thinking about the number of hours you have spent sitting, whether it be in your car or at your desk or in a meeting. Even if you make a trip to the gym after work for an hour, you are most likely looking forward to relaxing on your couch before going to bed.
Every day, Americans spend an average of 9.5 hours sitting. That means that we spend more time sitting than we do sleeping. As you can imagine, all of this inactivity begins to take a serious toll on our health. 3.2 million deaths that have occurred can be attributed to a lack of physical activity, according to the World Health Organization.
Because you can’t quit your job to spend all of your time in the gym, it is possible to implement little changes throughout your day to get your body moving:
Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk
For those who work in an open-office environment, some of these exercises are more subtle so that you don’t bring attention to yourself. There are also some more vigorous activities for those who have their own office and, therefore, a bit more privacy.
Reach for the stars stretch. Weave your fingers together and push your palms up to the sky, as high as you can. Hold this pose for a brief amount of time and continue to do this stretch throughout the day.
Bobblehead stretch. Slowly drop your head until your chin is touching your chest. Roll your head gently from one side to the other. Repeat periodically throughout the day.
Knee press stretch. Place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Gently press down with your right knee a few times, then switch to your left side.
Squats. Stand up from your seated position and then sit back down again. Repeat this at least 10 more times.
Calf raises. Move behind your chair and grab onto the back for support. Lift your heels off of the ground until you are standing on your toes. Lower your heels slowly until your feet are fully back on the ground again. Do 3 sets of this throughout the day.