10 Office Chair Exercises For Your Physical and Mental Wellness

August 17, 2022

By Workspace Resource

Over 863,000 people spend most of the work day in an office and this doesn't account for those who have a home office. This means that hundreds of thousands of people sit for a majority of the day in one immobile position.

If you are one of those people then you know the strain a desk job can have on your physical and mental well-being.

Luckily, there are a few ways to combat the effects of sitting for too long. Read on for 10 office chair exercises that will maintain your sanity and physique.

Dangers of Sitting Too Long

You may think your job is safer since you do not operate heavy machinery, come in contact with hazardous conditions, or perform risky tasks as some manual labor jobs do. However, sitting can be just as detrimental or even more dangerous since it can silently affect your health.

Research found that sedentary long-term work like common office jobs can lead to diseases like:

These ailments increase the risk of premature death. For example, if you sit for more than 11 hours a day, you have a 40% more chance of death within the next three years than those who sit for four or less.

Benefits of Office Chair Exercises

There is a major benefit to office work, which is its flexibility. For instance, you can use office chair movement in between answering emails just like if you were to take a coffee break. Of course, this habit is much healthier.

No matter what type of office chair you have these exercises work for everyone. And the benefits of office chair exercises are also universal that may include:

How often and how intensely you perform these exercises will give different results. You may find mild effects like decreasing minor pain with minimal effort. Or you might improve your strength if your exercise routine is frequent and extreme.

How to Exercise in an Office Chair

The best office chair exercises are ones that anyone can do, which means that they are easy to learn. Start with these simple workouts to get your body stretched, your blood flowing, and your muscle moving.

1. Back Stretches

The easiest part of office chair movement is that it makes stretching your back seamless. You can use the twirling motion of your chair to do thoracic spine twists.

Be sure to keep your feet firmly on the ground in front of you. Slowly use your legs to turn slightly to each side, leaving your hands on your lap or grabbing the top corner of your chair on the side of your twisting direction.

Stretch your upper back by reaching your arms over your head. Then lower your arms and head to be parallel to the floor. Hold this pose as you reach toward your computer in front of you.

2. Wrist Twists

Typing all day can do damage to your wrists and may lead to carpel tunnel syndrome, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in your hands and forearms. To prevent or reduce this pain do wrists twists every day.

Place the inside of your wrists together in front of you, arms lengthened. Begin rolling your wrists against each other, keeping your wrists together as you complete full circles. Switch directions after 10-15 rotations.

Another wrist exercise uses your desk for support. Stand up and rotate your wrists so that your fingers point toward your torso. Place them on your desk and lean into your palms.

3. Shoulder Tension Release

Office chair stretches should always include your shoulders as they hold much of your stress and tension.

Start with simple shoulder shrugs by lifting and holding your shoulders up to your ears. Release them as you drop your shoulder blades back behind you. This exercise will also help improve your posture.

4. Ab Workouts

From bicycle crunches to leg lifts, you can get an ab workout without even leaving your chair.

For bicycle crunches, place your hands on the back of your head and left one leg at a time. Touch your knee to your opposite elbow and switch sides.

Leg lifts begin by placing your feet on the ground. Hold onto the arms of your chair as you lift one or both legs up toward the ceiling. Keep your back straight to achieve the best results.

5. Push-Ups

If you have the floor space, then simply do a normal push-up next to your desk. Otherwise, you can use your desk for an angled push-up. Just place your hands on the edge of your desk and keep your back straight.

6. Eye Movements

Exercise in an office chair doesn't always involve your body's muscles. Your eyes also get tired of staring at the screen all day.

Give them a break while strengthening them with various eye movements. Look up and down then diagonally up and down on both sides. Rotate clockwise and counterclockwise. Next, look at your nose and then in between your eyebrows.

7. Squats Strengthening

Move your chair aside for a real gym workout using squats. You do not need weights to feel this intense stretch and strength-building movement.

Place your feet hip-width apart. Bend at the hips while keeping your back straight. Your arms go out in front of you as you squat, keeping your knees in line with your ankles.

8. Calf Raises

Calf raises are a full body stretch that also strengthens your legs and feet.

Put your feet hip-width apart as you slowly rise up on your toes. Raise your arms over your head at the same time to feel the stretch throughout your body.

9. Lunges

You may need to move to the conference room for this exercise if you do not have the space.

Keep your hips squared and back straight as you step one leg forward. Sink into your groin as you slightly bend both knees. Switch back and forth doing the same number of lunges on each side.

10. Wall Sit

Find a bare wall to perform this last exercise. Your chair this time will be imaginary as you use the wall for support.

Bend your knees and hold yourself up against the wall, keeping your hands on your lap or by your side. Hold this pose for as long as you can, release, then repeat 2-3 times.

Staying Comfortable After Your Workout

Now that you feel great after your office chair exercises you want to keep feeling that way. You can improve your posture and reduce the strain of sitting all day with a proper workplace setup.

Start designing your workspace to increase your productivity today.

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