Haute Fit: Get on Up and Deskercise
by Damon Mackey, Certified Group Fitness Leader and Consultant
Most Americans have the kind of jobs that have us at our desks for long periods of time. Chances are, your joints and muscles are tight and sore when you finally get up. Not good! Research has shown that prolonged sitting anywhere can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other types of deadly risks. Even if you are active by jogging or hitting the gym in the morning before work; or running to a spin class after work, these activities still may not make up for the hours we spend sedentary at our desk jobs. Secretaries, Customer Service Representatives, IT Specialists, and Receptionists can all fall prey to the problems that arise from sitting behind a desk for prolonged periods of time. Standing up and stretching is good, but may not be enough. We need to move. “Our joints are made to move, but not to be abused”, says Dr. William Higginbotham, Orthopedic Surgeon at St. John’s Providence Hospital. So, with that being said – make sure you incorporate movement every hour by deskercising.
I developed this method of exercises for the desk, right after my hip replacement. This can be done with very little or no equipment at the desk, and without leaving your office space. Let’s work!
Squats – Standing in front of your chair, lower your bottom towards your chair and back up for 10 repetitions.
Leg Extensions – While seated, bring your knee up and extend your leg out and back, then alternate legs. Try 10 on each side.
Abs – Holding on to the arms of the chair and sitting on the edge of it, bring your knees and chest toward each other for 10 reps. If you’re in a chair that rotates, firmly grip the edge of the desk with feet slightly lifted, and rotate from side to side working the obliques for another 10 repetitions.
Get to steppin’ – While standing, try stepping in place for a minimum of 50 steps.
Triceps and Shoulders – Standing with your back to the desk, firmly grip the edge of the desk with your palms, lower your torso down past the edge of the desk, and slightly back up for 10 repetitions.
Biceps – Keeping a pair of rubber tubing weights at your desk is also a great idea. Pull one end through the bottom of the chair. Now, with the handles in each hand, do a set of bicep curls for 10 repetitions.
Feeling great now? You just completed a total body workout. Once you get used to deskercise, it should take you no more than 6 minutes per hour, giving you almost an hour of working out time during your normal 8 hour work day. Just remember to keep it moving! In the words of James Brown, “get on up” – and Deskercise.
Images courtesy of: http://arabia.msn.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/14364/deskercise-exercise-your-desk/