Many of us spend much of our day seated at a desk. While work and productivity are essential, prolonged sitting can adversely affect our health and wellbeing.
Ergonomic chairs, designed to promote proper posture and support, can help alleviate some of these issues. However, even with an ergonomic chair, it’s important to incorporate regular movement into your workday to maintain overall health and prevent stiffness or pain.
Here are some simple exercises you can do while sitting in your ergonomic chair to combat the effects of prolonged sitting:
Energising Exercises for Your Ergonomic Chair
1. Neck Stretches
- Neck Tilt: To stretch the muscles on one side of your neck, gently tilt your head to that side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
- Chin Tucks: Tuck your chin towards your chest, creating a double chin. Maintain the position for 5-10 seconds and gradually release.
2. Shoulder Shrugs
- Shoulder Rolls: Slowly roll your shoulders up and down in a circular motion. Repeat ten times
- Shoulder Raises: Raise both shoulders towards your ears, hold for 5 seconds, and lower them slowly. Repeat ten times.
3. Arm Exercises
- Arm Circles: Extend both arms to the sides, palms facing down. Make small circles with both arms, alternating forward and backward for ten repetitions in each direction.
- Arm Raises: Raise both arms straight up overhead, palms facing each other. Hold for 5 seconds and lower them slowly to your sides. Repeat ten times.
4. Back Exercises
- Cat-Cow Pose: While sitting upright, arch your back, tucking your chin towards your chest (Cow Pose). Then, round your back, lifting your head and tailbone (Cat Pose). Repeat this movement ten times.
- Back Twists: Gently twist your upper body to one side, placing your hand on the back of your chair for support. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then replicate the movement on the opposite side.
5. Leg Exercises
- Leg Raises: Extend one leg straight out in front of you, toes pointed upwards. Hold for 5-10 seconds and lower it slowly. Repeat with the other leg.
- Ankle Circles: Rotate your ankles clockwise for ten repetitions, then switch to counterclockwise rotations for another ten.
6. Core Exercises
- Seated Abdominal Crunches: Place your hands behind your head and lean back slightly. Engage your core muscles and lift your upper body off the chair, bringing your chest towards your knees. Hold for 5 seconds and lower slowly. Repeat ten times.
- Pelvic Tilts: Tilt your pelvis forward while sitting upright, tucking in your lower abdomen. Hold for 5 seconds, then tilt your pelvis backward, arching your lower back. Repeat ten times.
- Hamstring Stretch: Extend one leg straight out in front of you, keeping your toes pointed upwards. Slowly reach towards your toes, bending at the hips and keeping your back straight. Sustain the position for 10 to 15 seconds and then replicate the movement with the opposite leg.
- Quadriceps Stretch: Bend one leg and bring your heel towards your buttocks, grasping your ankle for support. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
Always pay attention to your body; if you encounter any discomfort or pain, stop. Gradually increase the repetitions and intensity of the exercises as you become more comfortable.
Benefits of Seated Exercises
Incorporating these simple exercises into your workday can offer a multitude of benefits:
Regular stretching and movement can help counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting, improving your overall posture and reducing pain.
Seated exercises promote blood flow, helping to reduce fatigue and improve cognitive function.
Physical activity can effectively release endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters, helping combat stress and promote wellbeing, which could later translate to increased efficiency at work!
Ergonomic chairs can empower you to take control of your health and wellbeing, even amidst the demands of a busy workday. So, make the most of your ergonomic chair and transform your workspace into a hub for comfort and vitality.