5 exercises you can do at your desk – without looking silly
There are a lot of good reasons to exercise – stress relief, health benefits, looking good – but sometimes it feels like you just don’t have time to get a work out in or even to get moving.
Thankfully, it’s easier than you think. Here are five quick and easy exercises you can do at your desk without looking like a village is missing its idiot.
You may need to take off your shoes to do this one – if it safe to do so. Start with your feet flat on the ground and rock forward, lifting your heels while pressing down on your toes. Reverse the motion so that your toes are lifted and you are pushing into your heels. Return to flat and repeat. This exercise is great for loosening your calves (and thighs) and strengthening your ankles.
This one can vary depending on how much leg room is available and how long your legs are. Stretch your legs out in front of you – either one at a time or both simultaneously – lifting your toes to straighten your whole leg. Then lower them, bending the knees, until your feet are floating in your sitting position. Repeat for at least 10 reps on each side. You will feel this stretch in your thighs, back and stomach; a complete work out.
The most difficult part of this exercise is to control your facial features while you do it. Start by sitting straight in your chair and then tense your stomach muscles as if you are getting ready to do a sit-up. Release and repeat.
This can be a simple stretch or you can up the ante by turning it into desk push ups. Start with your arms stretched out in front of you and clasp the edge of the desk. Push and release. Repeat. This will stretch your arms as well as your chest and upper back.
Close your eyes. (Not strictly necessary but you may as well get in a screen break at the same time.) Tilt your head so that your ear is aimed at your shoulder. Let it fall as far as is comfortable. Return your head to centre and then repeat in the opposite direction. You can also repeat a similar action by letting your head fall forward and back or even a combination of both. Another easy neck stretch involves simply turning your head so that your gaze is pointed over your shoulder and repeat on the other side.
None of these exercises should cause you any lasting discomfort or pain and if you do experience any or have any concerns about trying them, please consult a medical professional. All exercise is an individual experience and nobody knows your body better than you, if it feels wrong, don’t do it.