Health & Wellbeing
6 Exercises You Can Do At Your Standing Desk
If you're working standing at your desk, you probably chose to stand as a way to fight all the negatives that come from sitting for eight hours a day. A standing desk is a great way to reduce back pain, increase energy, and burn some calories while you're at it. However, staying in one position for too long isn’t great for your body regardless of whether you're sitting or standing. The key to healthy working is to stay active and keep moving throughout your day.
Why movement is key to healthy working...
You may have seen the sensational media headlines stating that "sitting is the new smoking". But while it's true that sitting in one position all day can be detrimental to our health, the same can also be said about standing all day in a single posture.
More recent studies have indicated that in fact, the key to healthy working is to increase your range of movement throughout the day.
Movement while working has major benefits, including:
- Increased productivity
- Promotes a better mood
- Aids in reducing negative health problems
Here are six simple exercises you can perform right at your desk to help keep your body relaxed, improve your mood, and increase energy levels:
1. Standing Calf Raises
Calf raises use your body weight to strengthen and tone the gastrocnemius and soleus. Source.
Lightly holding the edge of your desk for balance, rise up onto your toes, lifting your heels off the floor. Go slowly — take two counts going up, hold for two, then two counts coming back down. Do 15 to 25 reps (you can do both legs together or just do one leg at a time to make it more challenging).
2. Standing Leg Extensions
Leg extensions strengthen the patellar ligament and quadriceps attachment for the knee. Source.
Engage your core (tighten abs)—this prevents your lower back from arching too much—then extend one of your legs straight behind you, engaging your glutes (butt) as you go. Do 12 to 25 reps.
3. Standing Hamstring Curl
Hamstring curls engage your hamstrings and glutes, which makes them stronger. Source.
Bend one knee and bring your foot toward your glute (butt), then release back down. Do 12 to 25 reps on each side.
4. Standing Calf Stretch
A calf stretch exercise can help prevent an Achilles tendon rupture. Source.
Move closer to one leg of your desk, lift the ball of one foot off the floor, and place it against the leg (you keep your heel on the floor). Lean your body into the desk and feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
5. Standing Chest Stretch
This chest stretch lengthens chest muscles so that healthier positioning feels natural and comfortable. Source.
Clasp your hands together behind your back, straighten your arms, and lift them up while drawing your shoulder blades down. You’ll feel your chest open, which should feel great if you find yourself hunching forward at your desk. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat.
6. Standing Twist/Back Stretch
Twisting can activate the muscles around the lumbar spine and abdominal core, increasing stability as well as blood flow and oxygenation to the lower back. Source.
Bend your right knee and lift it up to hip height, so that you’re balancing on your left leg. Place left hand on your right knee and twist your torso toward the right. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
We hope you find these exercises helpful. If you'd like more content that helps you to work more productively and effectively at home, please sign up to our mailing list.
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