Posted on December 17, 2020 by Kate Halsall

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the 3 movements you should be doing. It was an acknowledgement that the majority of us have changed the way that we work and that we probably need to move more! Based on your feedback, here is the supplement guide – the handout you would receive at a seminar or, and more to the point, the exercise card in the seat in front of you on a flight. If you’ve ever been on a long haul flight, you will have noticed an “inflight exercise” card in the seat. Have you ever considered that if you’re being encouraged to do simple exercises on a flight – why are we not doing the same in-office exercise?

Why exercise at your desk?

Sitting for 9+ hours a day can not only cause strain on your spine and poor posture; but it can create digestive problems, lead to poor circulation and varicose veins, weaken the bones and muscles, make us more prone to weight gain and so many other things! We know that being sedentary isn’t good for us, so even the littlest of things will help! Whilst you already have 3 movements you should be doing – the standing Y, sit to stand and seated cat cow, there are so many other tiny movements which would help massively. Here are just a few.

Chin Tucks – whilst no one looks good doing it, it’s a simple move which can help strengthen your neck muscles and prevent “forward head“. To perform, keep your head straight on during the movement, slowly draw the head back creating double chins all round! Try not to look down, hold for a couple of seconds and then release. Repeat.

Shoulder Blade Pinch – if you’ve heard the phrase “chest out shoulders back” you’re already half way there! This move will help you strengthen your back muscles and prevent your shoulders rolling forward. Keep your shoulders down, squeeze your shoulder blades together, as though you were trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold for about 10 seconds, and repeat 2 or 3 times a day.

Heel-Toe and Ankle Rolls – finally an exercise you can do without looking weird! Get that blood circulating properly and help prevent that threat of varicose veins. Firstly raise your heels off the floor until you are on the tips of your toes. Then the opposite move, keep your heels on the floor and raise your toes as high as possible. Lastly lift your feet off the ground and rotate your feet at the ankles in a counterclockwise motion and then reverse the movement. Repeat all 10 times.

Ultimately you need to look after yourself, and sitting for 9+ hours a day is not the way to do it. At minimum we should all be taking regular breaks and doing exaggerated shoulder rolls and chin tucks. Even simply standing to take a phone call can make a difference!