Having just recently moved, my husband and I have been working off the couch in our living room, which comes with a lot of slouching, hunched shoulders and generally bad posture. Which is why for the past few days, my left wrist has been sore enough that no painkiller will touch it; since I spend my whole workday in front of the computer, this is pretty bad news. And after I read a bit about RSI online, I realized I could have easily prevented this, and a lot of other stresses and aches, with a minimum of effort on my part.
I recently found this great article by Livestrong which describes exercises to do at the desk, but I find it so much easier to learn a move when I see it demonstrated. So here are 10 videos showing exercises that you can do at your desk, including everything from ab fitness to yoga breathing.
We understand that not everyone has the luxury of privacy at the desk, so here we've included a variety of options, including everything from basic yoga stretches for limberness and relaxation, to full-on crunches and pushups that utilize your desk or wall surface.
Try out these 10, or choose which instructor fits your style best and check out their other videos. Each video will start at the exercise we are highlighting.
1. Wall squats
This 15-minute workout from SparkPeople includes a variety of exercises that can be done in an office cubicle with a chair (wheelless), wall and desk. Try out their wall squats to help build leg strength.
2. Yoga for posture
This 10 minute video by Embodied Living features yoga-inspired seated stretching for health and energy during the workday, and improving posture. Try the second position, "Sky Stretch", to help ease a bit of the computer desk ache.
3. Ab workout in your chair
Shannon from liveexercise.com demonstrates two ab exercises, one using a desk and one using a chair. A great way to get the blood flowing!
4. Hand and wrist stretches to strengthen hand
Dr. George Best shows us how to strengthen the muscles of the hand and stretch the soft tissues, helping ease stiffness and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
5. Correcting computer hunch posture
steez333 of fit4real demonstrates how to correct the terrible posture many of us assume at the desk. Arm and wrist circles for stretching out the arms begin at 1:46.
I didn't know desk aerobics were possible, but LoyolaHealth has proven me wrong with this upper body instructional guide, which takes you through a series of pushups using your chair and desk. The desk incline pushup is the most reasonable of the set, but the chair arms tri-cept dip seems like it could get you toned pretty fast.
7. Neck soreness
Many times I've looked up after an intense period of concentration to find that my neck and shoulders are stiff and sore. This stretching tutorial from desktherapy.com is designed to loosen you up.
8. Stress relief
Sometimes, all it takes to feel a little calmer is to remember to breathe. This video from yogatoday teaches useful yoga breathing, along with accompanying stretches, to help ease your burdens.
9. Sore feet and legs
Anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet, especially in heels, will appreciate this video from HomemakersMagazine, which details several foot and calf-specific stretches to ease pain and stretch muscle.
If you're looking for leg and gluteus strength-building, try this tutorial from 4110018, which makes up for usefulness what it lacks in video quality.
10. Back stretching
ExpertVillage shares a method for a deep back stretch while seated in an office chair. Invigorating!
And if you're a commuter, there are other ways to slip some physical activity into your day. Park at the far end of the parking lot -- the walk takes only a few minutes longer than parking close in, plus there's no circling to find a better space -- you get less stress along with your exercise. And opt for the stairs over the elevator. Even if you work on the 20th floor of a building, you can get off the elevator a few floors early and finish the journey on the stairs.