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5 Easy Exercises for Office Workers

Most of us spend too much time sitting and typing during the work day, but what can we do about it? The bills need to be paid, and we need a steady supply of food, entertainment, and new socks. Deciding to leave it all and become a wild mountain man or woman just isn’t financially feasible. Fortunately, we don’t need to take such drastic measures to refresh ourselves and get a little exercise. Below, with the help of About.com, Discovery Health, and Forbes, are five exercises that any office worker can do.

1. Autogenic Training

Autogenic training is a relaxation technique perfect for those stressful days when nothing seems to be going right. You just lie down, or if that’s not an option, recline in your chair as far as you can. Take a few deep, slow breaths. Focus on your arms, and say (or think), “My arms are very heavy,” six times, then, “I am completely calm.” The full process can be read here. The idea is to slow down your thoughts and release tension.

2. Stretches

Stretches are easy to do frequently throughout the day, and there are a number of different types. One easy one involves linking your fingers together and stretching your arms up above your head. Lean back, breathe in, hold your breath and your posture for 20 seconds, and then relax. You can also hold your ear to your shoulder, or plant your hands against a doorframe and walk forward until you feel a pull in your chest. You can even just hold your hips still and lean backwards.

3. Leg Exercises

There’s a couple of ways to get the blood flowing in your legs again. One, you can perform while sitting in your chair. You can stick one leg straight out, hold, raise it as high as you can, and hold. Then repeat the process 15 times for each leg. Two, you can stand up in front of your chair, place your feet apart (past shoulder width), then bend your knees, lowering yourself until you’re almost sitting. Then hold. Repeat this 10 times, rest, then repeat it another 10 times.

4. Chair Lift

Sit up straight, move to the edge of your seat, and gradually lift your knees to your chest. You can let your feet touch the ground between repetitions, or not. Try a couple of sets of 12. Another exercise that can help tone your stomach is called the “Magic Carpet Ride.” It’s the opposite of the first exercise; it uses your arms instead of your legs. Sit cross-legged on your chair, tuck in your stomach, and put your hands on the arm rests. Lift yourself off the chair, hold your position for 10 or 20 seconds, and then relax. Do this five times.

5. Desk Push-ups

Why don’t you make that desk work for you a little bit? In this exercise, you stand a few feet away from your desk, then lean forward until your palms touch the desk. Lower your body down, then push back up. It’s just like push-ups! You can even do it backwards to work your triceps.
Other exercises you can do include jumping jacks, jogging up and down stairs, or taking a bike to work. There’s lots of ways to stay active!

Guest post by contributing author Richard O. Richard has spent the past couple of years researching common health related issues, he was especially involved in acid reflux foods projects.