Sitting at your desk for prolonged periods of time puts you at risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes and an early death, according to an article by the American Cancer Society. Marc Hamilton, University of Missouri professor of biomedical sciences, states that sitting too long causes your body to shut down at the metabolic level -- your circulation slows down and you burn fewer calories. Your schedule may not allow time to get to the gym, but if you can free up five minutes during office hours, you can work out several muscle groups and help improve your fitness.
Shoulder and Chest Exercises
Perform wall pushups to target your chest and shoulder muscles. Stand 2 feet away from a sturdy wall. Extend your arms and place your palms shoulder-high against the wall. While keeping your body straight from your head to your heels, bend your elbows and lean toward the wall. Push with your arms to return to the starting position. Continue for one minute.
A more intense version is to perform the pushups using your desk. Place your palms on the edge of your desk and walk your feet backward until they are 2 feet away from your desk. Keep your body in a straight alignment, bend your elbows and lower your body toward your desk as far as you comfortably can. Push back to the starting position and repeat.
Wrist extension and flexion exercises target your forearm muscles and can be done at your desk with the use of a resistance band. To perform wrist extensions, first make a loop with the resistance band by tying the ends together. Sit in your chair, hold the knotted end with your right hand and step on the other end of the loop with your right foot. Start by resting your forearm on your thigh with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist and curl your hand toward your body, pause and then slowly lower your hand to the starting position. After 15 seconds, switch arms.
To perform wrist flexions, begin as if you are doing wrist extensions, except start with your palm facing the floor. Bend your wrist backward to draw the back of your hand toward you. After 15 seconds, switch arms.
Hip and Thigh Exercises
An effective exercise to work your hips and thighs is the lunge squat. Put your right heel against a sturdy wall, step forward with your left leg and place your hands on your hips. Start with your toes pointing forward, head up, back straight and shoulders back. Without leaning forward, bend both knees and lower your body eight to 10 inches. Push back up to the starting position and repeat. After 30 seconds, switch legs.
Lower Leg Exercises
Focus on your calf muscles with calf raises. Hold onto your desk or chair for support. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly lift your heels off the floor and raise up onto the balls of your feet as far as you can. Hold for two seconds and then slowly lower back to the floor. Continue for 30 seconds.
With the use of a resistance band you can work your ankles. Tie the ends of the band together with a secure knot to make a loop. Sit in your chair, hold the knotted end and wrap the loop around the ball of your right foot. Extend your right leg in front of your body, bend your ankle, bring your toes back toward you and pull on the band until you feel some resistance. This is the starting position. While holding the band tightly, slowly point your toes forward and then return to the starting position. After 15 seconds, switch legs.
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