Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Exercise at Your Desk

As a college student you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. Here are some great exercise tips to help you burn calories, help circulation, and prevent stiffness while you are studying at your desk.

1. While sitting at your desk, use proper posture. Your back should be straight, your shoulders back, and the top of your monitor should be level with your eyes. Do not rest your wrists on the keyboard or on the mouse pad. This helps prevent the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. Keep your legs bent at the knees so that the knees are only slightly higher than your hips. Feet should be flat on the floor or on a step stool.

2. Stretch while sitting to prevent stiffness in your limbs. 
Neck: slowly flex your head forward and backward, side to side and look right and left. 
Shoulders: Roll your shoulders forward around 10 times, then backward. This helps release the tension off your shoulders.
Arms and shoulders: A good stretch for your arms and shoulders is to brace your hands on the edge your desk, each about a shoulder width away from your body. Twist your hands in so they point toward your body and lean forward, hunching your shoulders. Take this a step further and push your shoulders and elbows closer to the desk.
Wrists: Roll your wrists regularly, around every hour or so. Roll the wrists 10 times clockwise, then 10 times counterclockwise. This will help minimize the potential for getting carpal tunnel syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing.
Ankles: Roll your ankles regularly. As with your wrists, roll the ankles in a clockwise motion three times, then counterclockwise. This helps improve blood circulation, and prevents that tingling feeling you can get when blood circulation is cut off.
Chest: Notice if you tend to hunch in front of the keyboard. To counter that, perform the following exercise: Open your arms wide as if you were going to hug someone, rotate your wrists externally (thumbs going up and back) and pull your shoulders back. This stretch is moving your body the opposite way to being hunched and you should feel a good stretch across your upper chest.
Abdomen: Contract your abdominal and gluteal muscles, hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this every few minutes all day long while you're working at your desk. 
Calves: Stretch your calves. While sitting, lift up your legs on the balls of your feet and set them down. Repeat until your legs are comfortably tired. Repeat about 10 minutes later, and continue doing this routine for about an hour or so. This will exercise your calves, and will help prevent blood clots from developing in your legs. 

3. Stand up and walk around every half hour to keep blood flowing to your limbs.

4. Look somewhere other than your computer screen every half hour, to prevent eye irritation and headaches. 

5. Breathe deeply and hold your stomach for a few minutes while breathing in, and release stomach muscles while breathing out. If possible take a short walk outside to get fresh air.

6. Drink water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you, and take breaks to refill your water bottle, and stretch your legs.

Some other tools to keep close to your desk are a hand gripper or elastic band. These tools work your forearm muscles, use them while reading text book chapters. Also, keep a stability ball close by.
Sit on it with your back straight and abs firm. You will burn calories stabilizing your core and body on the ball. Use while sitting or talking on the phone.


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  3. These techniques are very useful.