A 2017 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average American spends one thirds of each day or about 8 hours sitting. These sitting related activities include driving to and from work, running errands with the car, working, eating, watching television, talking on the phone, going through emails, working on the computer, and others. Unfortunately, all that sitting has a severe consequence on the muscle in your legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, along with your spinal column.
Consequently, it is important that you take steps to reduce the negative effects of sitting. Most of all these steps involve exercising for short periods of time throughout the day. All these exercises, described below, can be done wherever you are sitting. In fact, some of these exercises can be merged into the overall sitting process thereby making it easy to do them and less of a chore or burden.
Standing push-ups – The standing push-ups exercise your arms. Stand facing a wall and push out your arms to the wall. Then bring your face to the wall and return. Do a set of 5. Or you can stand behind a desk and support yourself with your hands on the desk. Then, do a set of 5 push-ups against the desk.
Chair dip – The chair dip exercises your arms. Place hands on the armrest. Move your bottom to the front of the seat. Slowly straighten your arms and lift the body off the chair and hold for 20 seconds. Next, return to the starting position. Do a set of 5.
Shoulder raises – Shoulder raises relieves tension in the neck. Raise shoulders up toward your ear and hold for 10 seconds, and then relax. Or you can do one shoulder at a time. This one is easy to do and can be done even when you are sitting.
ABS squeeze – The ABS squeeze exercises your abs. Pull your lower abdominal muscles in so you feel the tightness in the abs and hold for 30 seconds. Do a set of 5. This one is, also, easy to do and can be done when sitting.
Back twist – The back twist is used to relieve tension in the back. Sit in a chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Next, twist to the right side and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat the steps on the left side. Do a set of 3 on each side.
To prevent affecting your spine and causing permanent problems likes back pain and damage to spinal structures, always maintain proper posture by sitting up straight – and not hunched over to the table.
Wall sit – The wall sit strengthens the glutes, calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductor muscles. Stand with your back up against the wall and slowly lower yourself into a sitting position with your thighs parallel to the floor. Hold that of 30 seconds. Do a set of 3.
Strengthen hamstrings – Stand behind a chair and hold for support. Gently move one foot back so that the heel is next to your thigh. Bring foot back and do the other leg. Do a set of 3 on each leg.
Leg planks – While at your desk, sit on the edge of your chair with knees bent and feet on the floor. Raise one leg straight up so it’s parallel to the floor. Hold for 20 seconds. Then do the other leg. Do a set of 3 with each leg. Or do both legs at the same time.
Tapping your feet – while seated tap your feet for 30 seconds. This one keeps blood circulating through your feet while also exercising your calf muscles.
Glute squeeze – squeeze the glutes as hard as you can and hold for 30 seconds. You can do this sitting down and without anyone noticing.
Heel raises – Exercises the gastrocnemius muscles of your calves. Raise your heels off the floor and stand on your toes. Then lower yourself back on the floor. Do a set of 5.
Squats – Squats exercise your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals and other core muscles. From your sitting position in the chair, stand up and then sit back down. Do a set of 5.