Sitting for long hours at work can be an energy zapper. According to CNN.com, sitting for long periods of time can also lead to back pain, repetitive stress injuries and obesity. A variety of simple chair exercises can be performed to get your blood and adrenaline pumping to boost your energy level and help keep you physically fit. Take short breaks throughout the day, or use your lunch hour to perform these simple chair exercises.
Perform elbow curls to stretch your chest and strengthen your back. Place both feet hip-width apart on the floor. Elongate your spine to sit up straight while activating your core muscles. Bring your arms out to your sides to shoulder-height. Bend your elbows and place your hands behind your head. Press your shoulder blades together and hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat this stretch up to five times.
Improve your lower-body strength and activate your thigh muscles with leg curls. Sit upright in your chair with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Raise your right leg to a horizontal position in front of you and hold for two seconds. Lower your right leg to the starting position. Raise your left leg to a horizontal position in front of you and hold for two seconds. Repeat the exercise 15 times on each leg.
Activate your hamstrings and relieve pressure on your lower back with a hamstring stretch. Move your chair away from your desk. If your chair has wheels, lock the wheels so your chair stays firmly in place. Put your left leg on the desk. Flex your foot to engage your hamstring muscles. Place your hands around your calf or your ankle if you are more flexible. Lean forward over your leg while keeping your back straight. Hold the pose for 10 seconds. Point your foot and hold the pose for an additional five seconds. Return the starting position. Repeat the exercise on your right leg. Stretch each leg up to five times.
Chair squats activate your core and gluteal muscles to improve your fitness. Use a chair without wheels or lock the wheels in place to perform this exercise. Stand in front of your chair with your feet firmly on the ground hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips. To increase the intensity of the exercise, place your hands above your head. Sit down as slowly as possible until your buttocks is just above the chair. Keep your weight in your heels and keep your knees soft. Avoid letting your knees expand beyond your toes. Stand up slowly. Repeat the exercise 20 times.
Ann Daniels has been a professional writer for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in many national health and wellness publications. Daniels holds a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder.