Desk jobs can be unforgiving on your joints.
Especially when sitting for 6-7 hours a day, it can cause your joints to become painfully stiff. Here are some fool-proof ways to get blood flowing back into those joints, in-between your memo’s and meetings.
Health.com recommends low impact aerobics, strength training and stretches as great ways to keep active.
The chair stand is a low impact exercise that can be easily modified for any office environment. It helps build-up endurance and can increase your heart rate.
1. While sitting in your office chair, position both legs at a 90 degree angle, your feet should be resting comfortably on the ground.
2. Stand up and slowly lower yourself into the chair as if you were going to sit down.
3. Don’t sit yet, instead hover for 3-5 seconds above your chair. Then sit-down.
The trick is to do this as slowly as possible, using your arms for support you only if you need it. Try to aim for 10-15 reps, or at least until you feel the burn in your legs. You can modify this exercise to increase the difficulty by lowering the height of the chair.
This quick and easy way to help loosen the tension in your knees are knee-leg extensions.
1. Sit straight back in your chair, ensuring that your back is fully supported. With both of your feet placed flat on the ground.
2. Begin to extend one leg. Try to create a straight line from your hip to your toe. If this hurts, don’t force it, only extend your leg to your limit.
3. Hold your leg straight out for 2-3 seconds
4. Lower to your starting position. Its best to alternate legs, but do what works best for you.
Aim for 20 knee-leg extensions. But, remember to always work within your limites.
Warning, this may raise some eyebrows around the office.
Weightlifting has wonderful benefits. It helps improve strength and flexibility in stiff joints. Not saying that a bench-press should mysteriously appear in the back of the office, but a couple 5lbs dumbbells are discrete and very useful. Incorporating bicep curls into an office routine can be very effective for relieving joint stiffness. It’s best to start with a light weight like 5lbs and work up from there. Keep in mind that although 5lbs may not be as challenging, the more repetitions you can do, the better the results. Once you can build up your endurance, gradually increase to 8lbs.
Aim for 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each arm.
This hand stretch is a simple exercise, but offers great relief for hand stiffness. For this exercise, simply rest your elbow on your desk.
1. Extend your arm with your palm facing upwards without resting the back of your hand on the desk.
2. Open all fingers to a count of three (or higher)
3. Slowly close your fingers back into a fist.
4. Squeeze. Repeat 20 times with each hand.
There are many “deskercises” to relieve stiff joints and get blood flowing in the right places. Websites like health.com and arthritis.org offer great resources on diets and workouts for those living with arthritis.