If you have a job that requires sitting, making a point to take movement breaks will make a big difference in your mental and physical health. These office exercises are designed to be done in sequence, but stopping to do even one will give your body, and your brain, a much-needed and rejuvenating break.
To perform the following exercises, first get yourself set up in the correct position.
- Scoot to the edge of your office chair and adjust the height of the chair so your knees and hips are at ninety degrees.
- Kick off your shoes and be sure your feet are touching the floor and are pointing straight ahead.
- Feet and knees should both be hip width apart.
Sitting Triceps Stretch
- Roll your hips forward so there is an arch in the lower back and it is in extension. Maintain this position throughout the exercise.
- Bring one arm straight overhead and bend your elbow so the palm of your hand is touching the shoulder blade of the same arm, but not your neck.
- Place the other hand on the raised elbow. Apply gentle backward pressure to the elbow to stretch the triceps muscle of the bent arm.
- Hold for 1 minute.
- Switch sides and repeat.
This exercise will open up the upper back and shoulders.
Sitting Chair Twist
- Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your lower back.
- Remain sitting straight and reach behind you with one arm as the other arm is resting on the side of your hip.
- Twist in that direction and hold for 1 minute.
- Repeat on the other side.
This exercise will help to alleviate tension in the neck and shoulders by balancing out the muscles of the torso.
Sitting Cats and Dogs
- Your arms can hang loosely to the sides, or be placed in your lap.
- For the cat position: roll your hips backward to take the arch out of the back.
- For the dog position: roll your hips forward to place the arch into your low back.
- Slowly move back and forth between the cat and dog positions.
- Repeat 10 times.
This exercise will move the pelvis, spine, and shoulders through a full range of motion. This one is especially handy for alleviating tension in the low back.
Sitting Heel/Toe Raises
- Sit up straight on the edge of your chair.
- Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart.
- Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold throughout the exercise.
- Roll both feet frontward and backward so your heels lift and then your toes lift. Pretend you are bringing your heels and toes down onto eggshells. When you lift your heels, use the hip to initiate the movement. Focus on slow controlled movements, and keep your feet straight the entire time.
- Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions.
This exercise will restore muscular balance to the feet and lower extremities, as well as promote circulation. And this exercise is a must for you ladies who wear high heels to work!
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