Now that I’m part of the whole 9-5 desk job culture again, I’m really starting to remember what gluing your butt to a chair and staring at a computer screen all day does to your psyche.
My full rant goes something like this: I don’t think humans were designed to do this, and I wonder how much it’s played into our overall health as a society over the past century. (Thoughts?)
My less dramatic internal struggle has to do with getting through these long afternoon hours–preferably, with something other than coffee and snacks.
I can’t tell you how much that stupid vending machine starts calling to me around 2 PM, hungry or not. My bad angel tries to convince me that I could use the mental boost from the calories anyway, and at the very very least, it’s a nice excuse to take a walk to the kitchen. (Working for a small company means that, unfortunately, I can get anywhere I need to go around the office in literally 10 seconds. So a “walking break” would require me to basically pace up and down the hall.)
I’ve been trying to get in the habit of doing push-ups throughout the day (behind a closed office door, of course). But then I’m all, what about my legs?
So today, I decided to put a little mini-workout together at lunch. I specifically chose exercises you can do directly in your chair, in a semi-inconspicuous way, for those of us who are always kinda scared someone will walk in on us awkwardly doing squats next to our desks.
I waited to bust it out until I started feeling the Afternoon Anesthesia kicking it, and–guys–by the end, I was almost sweating. After 5 minutes of working out. Which is convenient, because the other reason I’ve been known to do push-ups randomly throughout the day is because I’m freezing. (Happens a lot.)
To all my fellow butt-in-chair office workers: next time you find yourself sneaking to the vending machine, hopelessly browsing the internet for long stretches of time, or cat napping in your chair (not that you would EVER), try this instead.
Big shoulder rolls: I’m talking biiiiig ones. Slowly circle shoulders in front of you, bring them up to brush your ears, then roll them back, squeezing shoulder blades together behind you. Repeat.
Tricep dips: Sit forward off your chair, gripping the edge of the chair with your hands. Slowly lower and lift your body using your triceps.
(Got a wobbly swivel office chair? Me too! Embrace the added balance challenge–carefully and safely, of course. If it doesn’t feel safe, you can do tricep dips on the floor instead.)
Balancing leg circles: Sit forward on the very edge of your chair, lean back slightly, grip the edge of the chair, and lift your legs. Hold your legs straight in front of you by engaging your core in a sort of V-sit position. Then, point your toes and draw small circles with them, in opposite directions. Reverse directions after 10.
Arm rest push-ups: (Only do this one if your office chair has pretty sturdy arm rests–if not, go for regular push-ups on the floor.) While sitting, put your legs out in a straight line in front of you, heels on the floor. With your hands on your arm rests, use only your arms to push your body up off the chair until it’s in a straight line. Lower until your hips just brush the edge of the seat before raising again (no sitting).
Knees to chest: Like you did with the leg circles, sit forward on the very edge of your chair, lean back slightly, and grip the edge of the chair. This time, reach your legs long and then pull your knees up to your chest in a slow, controlled movement.
Slow neck rolls: I’m talking slooooow ones. Some instructors only have you go forward and to the sides, but I’m all about the full circle, as long as you’re going slowly enough.
Happy slump busting!