Office Exercises – an Investment Into Your Back Health
Office exercises are an easy and effective way to keep your back healthy. Everybody’s posture deviations are different and have to be addressed individually. At the same time, if you sit in front of the computer all day long, you should invest into your back health by doing simple office exercises. You can do them right in the office.
Please follow this routine in sequence. Do not pick and choose among the exercises—do them in order. Repeat equally on both sides. Stop if the exercise causes pain. Feel free to take another 5-minute exercise break whenever you feel your body needs it.
Do these office exercises daily. If possible, please remove your shoes.
- Sitting in Extension: 1 minute
- Sitting Arm Circles: 10 – 20 repetitions in each direction
- Sitting Hip Flexor Lifts: 10 repetitions on each side
- Sitting Chair Twist: 20-30 seconds each side
- Sitting Cats and Dogs: 10 repetitions
Word of caution: Although unlikely, some of these office exercises may feel uncomfortable or even painful. In this case, you can do one of the following: decrease the time, decrease the number of repetitions, or skip the exercise altogether. Listen to your body, do not force it. Pain or discomfort during an exercise is a signal that something in your body is out of alignment.
Sitting in Extension
Sit up straight on the edge of a chair or bench.
Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart.
Let your arms hang down at your sides, or be placed in your lap
Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back while
pulling your shoulders back into extension.
Don’t yank your shoulders back – shoulders, and hips must go together.
Keep your feet in place. Balance the weight on both cheeks of your buttocks.
Hold for 1 minute and then relax.
If you do this exercise regularly, you will not need or want a fancy ergonomic desk chair. This exercise works on your posture by transferring the work from the lumbar spine to the pelvis.
Sitting Arm Circles
- Sit up straight on the edge of a chair or bench.
- Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart.
- Roll your pelvis forward to place a small arch in your low back and hold this position throughout the exercise.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together slightly and extend your arms straight out from your sides up to shoulder level.
- Curl your fingertips to your palms; point your thumbs out straight ahead. This is called a golfers grip.
- With palms facing down and thumbs pointing straight forward rotate your hands up and forward in approximately 6 inch circles. Do 10 to 20 times.
- Then reverse direction: palms should now face up, with thumbs pointed straight backward. Still squeezing your shoulder blades together, rotate your hands up and backward, and repeat the same number of times.
- During the exercise be sure to keep your arms straight and at shoulder level.
- While doing the circles, keep the elbows straight. The rotation must be in the shoulders.
This exercise works on your posture by promoting hip extension and strengthening the muscles of the upper body.
Sitting Hip Flexor Lifts
Use your front hip muscles to generate the movement. It may be beneficial to sit facing a mirror to observe if you lean to the side or lift with the hips – do not let this happen.
Keep the lift to an inch or less, otherwise the thigh muscles will be bypassed.
This exercise is a deceptively simple strengthening routine for the hip flexor muscles.
Sitting Cats and Dogs
I hope you enjoyed your 5-minute break. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of these simple office exercises. You will feel more upright.
If you have any questions, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-424-1303