5 Tips for Staying Active at the Office or at Home

5 Tips for Staying Active at the Office or at Home

With these 5 simple tips, you can relieve aches that arise from sitting at a desk all day.


By: Eva-Lotta Sigurdh

Working 9-to-5 at the office can definitely wear you out. With your long to-do list, emails, constant meetings and sitting at your desk all day, it’s no wonder your mind and body are in need of a little pick-me-up sometimes.

Mix up your typical workday with some tension-relieving activities that give your body the boost it needs (when it needs it the most). Here are a few quick ways to get up, get active and make your workday even more productive!

1. Take Breaks
Take a few short breaks (five minutes or so) every hour, during which you leave the computer for a while. Use this time to retrieve your snail mail, make a phone call (and walk while you do so) or just go for a cup of coffee.

2. Vary Your Working Posture
Sit forward and back on a regular basis. Use an office chair with a tilt function and stretch your feet forward or lift them up on the chair's leg supports at regular intervals.

There are simple exercises you can do that take little effort but have a large impact. Just keep moving!

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3. Move Around
During the periods when you do not have to sit at the computer, try to walk around. Pace when you are just thinking — it might just help you think of the answer — or when you need to discuss something with a colleague.

4. Stretch
Since sitting still makes your muscles stiff and shortened, simply stretching them is a good step to take. Kristian Berg, chiropractor, personal trainer and author of “The Big Stretching Book,” suggests the following exercises:

  • For the neck: Sit on a chair with your feet wide apart. Grab the underside of the seat with your right hand. Rotate your head 45 degrees to the left and place your left hand on the back of your head. Bend your head diagonally forward. Then do the same thing on the other side, switching hands with which you grab the chair.
  • For the shoulders: Sit on a chair with your feet wide apart. Grab the underside of the seat with your right hand. Lean your upper body and head to the left side, turn your head to the right and place your left hand against your head. Change sides.
  • For your bottom: Place your right leg on a table. The knee should be exactly in front of the hip joint, and the knee joint should be at a 90-degree angle. Lean your upper body forward. Now change sides.
  • For the hips: Sit on the edge of a table and lie back down. Pull up both legs against your chest. Grab the left knee with both hands around it, and lower your right leg and let it hang freely. Change sides.
  • For the chest: Stand facing a wall with one foot in a corner. Press your elbows against the wall and lean your chest toward the corner.

5. Do Strength Exercises Using Everyday Objects
You do not need to go to the gym or purchase expensive home equipment to fit in a workout. You can make use of everyday objects found in the home!

  • Fill water bottles and use them as dumbbells. Strengthen back and arm muscles by standing with legs apart and a bottle in each hand at your sides. Then lift your arms straight up to shoulder height and then down again. Repeat 10 times.
  • Work to remove muscle knots (common in sedentary people) with the use of a tennis ball. Stand against a wall with a tennis ball in between your back and the wall and rub your back against the ball.

So, set the timer and be creative. With modest resources, you can transform your sedentary life in front of a computer to an “active computing life.” Now get to work!

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