» Getahead » 7 simple exercises you can do at your desk

7 simple exercises you can do at your desk

By Dr. Satyen Mehta
Last updated on: July 04, 2019 12:00 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

These exercises will also help you improve your posture and protect your spine.

Office stretch

IMAGE: Sitting for too long can wreck your spine. Get up. Move. Stretch every 30 minutes. Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/

You don't need to fall sick to realise the importance of exercise in your life.

Regular exercise combined with an active lifestyle leads to a healthy and longer life.

This is one primary reason why young adults, health enthusiasts and people who wish to live healthy life indulge in different forms of exercises.

There are some who like working out in the gym, while others may opt for yoga or Zumba.

There are other different forms of activities such as swimming, gymnastics, running, etc. which you can include in your daily routine.

But what do you do if your job involves spending long hours at the desk?

Dr Satyen Mehta suggests few desk exercises which you can do at your workplace and improve your posture:

Exercise #1

Sit in a posture with your lower back in neutral position which means neither slumped backward or forward.

Make sure that you relax your shoulders and upper back.

Then lift your left knee and place your hands either on the front or back of the knee.

Gently move your knee towards your chest such that you are hugging your knee. Sit in this posture for about 7 seconds and then return back to the original position. Repeat the same for right side and thrice for each side.

This exercise helps you to release hip tension and glut.

Exercise #2

Take your left shoulder across your chest and support it with your right hand such that it appears like a plus sign.

Make sure that you feel a stretch on your shoulder as well as back of the upper arm.

In order to build a comfortable stretch you must pull your elbow towards your chest.

Remember to hold the last stretch for about seven seconds and also repeat the exercise on the other side.

Repeat this exercise thrice on each side. This exercise helps you to free your shoulders.

Exercise #3

Sit on the front edge of your chair.

Extend your right leg out in front of you and sit in a neutral position.

Remember to inhale and exhale but while exhaling tilt forward from your hips.

Note that while doing this you must feel the stretch in your lower and upper leg.

While you lean forward make sure that you have a flat back.

In order to support your lower back, place your hands on the opposite knee.

Hold the final stretch for 7 seconds and do not bounce while releasing.

Follow the same process for the left side and repeat this thrice.

This exercise helps you to stretch your calf muscles and hamstring.

Exercise #4

Sit with your lower back supported in your chair.

Take a deep breather and link your hands together.

Gradually, exhale and raise your hands towards the ceiling.

Raise your hands in such a way that you must feel that your hands are growing longer until they reach above your head.

In due process of stretching, restrict your lower back to arch forward.

Repeat the same process gradually and hold for seven seconds.

Repeat this exercise thrice so that your shoulder blades release all the pressure.

This exercise also helps you to lengthen upper back and neck.

Exercise #5

If you have pain in your spine then this is the best exercise for you.

This exercise helps you to gently stretch your entire spine.

In a seated position place your hands on your opposite shoulders such that it forms a cross over your chest.

Start turning your head in such a manner that you happen to look over your right shoulder.

Pause for a few seconds.

Once you feel your spine stretching, repeat the same to your left side. Repeat the same thrice on each side.

Exercise #6

Sit on the front edge of your chair with your spine in a neutral position.

Place your feet flat on the floor wide apart.

Make sure that your knees are not flexed above 90 degrees and your hips should not be lower than your knees.

Inhale and exhale slowly and simultaneously roll your spine in such a way that when your hands drop down they touch the floor.

Relax in this posture for about 7 seconds.

Remember, not to bounce while returning back to your original position. You can repeat this thrice.

Exercise #7

This exercise is best suited to release spinal tension.

Take a deep breath in and turn your head towards the right side breathe out when you feel the stretch.

Once you feel a full stretch take a pause. Hold your stance for 5 to 7 seconds.

Inhale and return to your initial position.

Inhale and turn your head towards left side and breathe out once your feel full stretch. Repeat this three times.

You can choose a combination of exercises that suit your desk and body.

All these exercises help you to get rid of bad posture, the main cause of neck and shoulder pain.

The good part about this exercise is that you do not have to go anywhere. You can simply do them at your desk during a break.

Besides, you can always take a short break after these exercises and go for a walk.

Most of these stretching exercises help you release all the stress from your minds and bodies.

Despite regular exercise, if you still feel pain in your shoulder or neck, it is recommended to get in touch with a professional.

They can study your pain in details and give you right medication and physiotherapy.

Timely diagnosis is essential since it saves you from taking wrong medication.

 Dr Satyen Mehta is spine consultant at HEAL Institute, a specialist in physiotherapy and sports massages.

TELL US: How do you stay fit at work? Share your tips in the messageboard below.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Dr. Satyen Mehta