Winter Fit 'Desk'
Posted by Wendy Wilson | Learning & Development Consultant on 31 May 2018
With the cooler months settling in, it’s easy to let the warmth of your bed keep you under your covers for longer than normal to avoid going out in dreary weather. The reduced sunlight hours, the cold, and the rain all impact on our motivation to get out there and moving.
These seven exercises/stretches are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exercises you can do in your workplace. Don’t let the winter months lull you into a sedentary lifestyle when these are quick and easy to do.
This one is perfect to do if you have your own office, but can work if you happen to head into a meeting room early, or the break room when no one else is around (or make it a challenge and get your whole team involved).
Stand with your back against the wall, and then bend your knees to slide down it to a sitting position with your thighs parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30 second to begin with and increase each time by 5 seconds.
Muscles targeted: Primary - Quadriceps (in particular the rectus femoris); Secondary – Hamstrings and Adductors.
This one you can do without anyone ever knowing as you don’t need to move from your desk!
To start, stay seated but move to the edge of the seat, and then slowly raise one leg up off the floor until it’s stretched straight out and parallel to the floor. Hold for 15 seconds and then slowly drop it back to the floor. Repeat on the other side. Do this for at least 30 repetitions (15 on each side).
Keep it slow and steady. It’s more about your control than doing it quickly!
Muscles targeted: Primary – Hip flexor (in particular the iliopsoas)
Front Hand Clasp
Another one you can do anywhere, including at your desk.
Clasp your hands together by your fingers, with one thumb pointed to the ground and the other pointed to the ceiling. While keeping them clasped, pull and resist the motion so that you feel a great stretch in your arms and hold for 10 or more seconds before releasing. Repeat with changing your hands around as to which is pointing up/down.
Variations include changing where you clasp your hands together. Make it into a handshake; or even clasp your wrists.
Muscles targeted: Primary - Biceps
Posterior Hand Clasp
A fantastic stretch to do either seated or standing, which makes it perfect for at your desk.
With one arm bending over your shoulder and the other reaching from behind your back, clasp your hands together behind your neck/shoulders. Hold for at least 10 seconds and then release. Repeat by swapping your hands around.
If you can’t reach the other hand, keep stretching as far as comfortable towards the other hand or use a pen to bridge the gap.
Muscles targeted: Primary – Biceps, Pecs (in the bottom arm); Tricep and latissimus dorsi (top arm)
This is another fantastic stretch to do while at your desk.
Move to the edge of your seat, and then bring your hands behind your back to press your palms together. Sit up tall and hold for 10 seconds.
Muscles targeted: Primary – Triceps (all 3 muscles); Secondary – Pecs, serratus anterior
Get moving where ever possible.
Need to talk to someone? Instead of calling their extension, get up and walk over to their desk. Do a lap of the office. Take the long way to a meeting room. Find reasons to increase your step count.
Muscles targeted: Primary – Quadriceps (all four), Hamstrings, Glutes, tibialis anterior; Secondary – abdominal amongst many other muscle groups!
Perfect for those people who work in a multi-level building!
Instead of using an elevator, take the stairs. Not only does it give you the benefits of increasing your step count, but it adds an additional level of cardio.
Work at the top of the building? Where possible, take the elevator to a floor a couple down from your level and walk up the stairs for the remainder of the trip.
Muscles targeted: Primary – Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Abs and Calves
What exercises do you find easy to sneak into your work hours? Let us know!
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