Entrepreneurs and small business owners often put in a lot of hours at their desk each week. Whether you’re writing prospecting emails to potential new clients, on the phone closing deals, at the computer taking care of the bookkeeping or just finishing up some necessary tasks, there is a good chance that you spend more hours at your desk each day than you even realize.
However, recent studies show that sitting at your desk for hours every day can have an adverse impact on your health. Sometimes doing desk work is unavoidable. So, what can you do to make sure that you’re not negatively impacting your health each day?
The answer is: deskercise!
Below, we’ve put together some of the best exercises that you can do right at your desk to help you keep moving during the week even when you need to be stationary.
- Toe taps
This is a deskercise that you can do while you’re working. All this involves is speedily tapping your toes underneath your desk. It gets your feet and legs moving, even if it is only a little bit. For a bit more movement, you can stand in front of a small trashcan or other small object and lift-up your legs to tap your toes on the top of the object. Alternate your feet and do this move for 15 counts on each side.
- Stationary jog
The stationary jog is a great exercise to try when have time to take a quick break in between tasks. All you need to do is stand up from your chair and jog in place for 60 seconds. If you want more of a challenge, pick up your knees as you jog. Once you’re done, you can go back to your desk for another work sprint.
- Stretch your arms
Though stretching your arms may not seem like much, it does help you get moving a bit and is very easy to do from your seat. Here are a few arm stretches you can do at your desk. Take your right arm in front of you, placing your left hand on your wrist. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and then alternate arms. For another feel-good arm stretch, take your right arm above your head, then bring your hand down behind your head or between your shoulder blades. Place your left hand on your elbow to get a good stretch for 15 seconds. Alternate arms.
- Give your neck a good stretch
Your neck can really start to hurt after hours at your desk. Give it a good stretch by tilting your head to the right and placing your right hand on the left side of your head. Gently apply pressure and hold for 15 seconds. Alternate sides. Be sure not to put too much strain on your neck.
- Give your wrists some relief
Typing all day is not good for your wrists. If you spend a lot of time at your keyboard, try this wrist stretch during your work day. Stand up from your seat, facing your desk. Place the top of your hands on your desk with your fingertips facing the body. Hold this stretch for about 15 seconds and repeat throughout the day if necessary.
- Lift your legs
This is another exercise that you can do right from your seat. Pull the chair out from your desk and lift your left leg. Hold for 2 seconds. Then lift your right leg for 2 seconds. Repeat this exercise 15 times on each leg.
- Try the chair squat
Squats are a great way to get your blood flowing, and they also happen to be a great move to do at your desk. Stand up with your chair behind you. Squat while holding your arms out in front of you. Go deep enough that your butt touches the chair with each squat. Repeat this move 20 times.
- Take a dance break
What better way to get a little more movement into your day then with a short dance break? Put on a song that gets you moving and start dancing any way you want to. Whether you stay seated or stand up, dancing is a fun way to get more movement into your day, and it can even leave you feeling more refreshed so that you have the energy to take on the rest of your tasks.
- Silently squeeze your seat
This is another deskercise that can be done quietly without anyone knowing you’re even moving. The isometric glutes exercise can even help you tone your buns! Start by squeezing the buttocks and holding each squeeze for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat until you have completed the task at hand or you start to get tired.
- Strengthen your hamstrings
For this move, you’ll need to get up from your seat. Stand behind your chair and gently hold on the back for support. Kick one foot back and aim the heel for the top of your thigh. Then, lower that foot down and switch legs. Do 10 reps on each side.
- Do a desk pushup
The desk pushup is another simple exercise that you can do right in your office, using only your own body weight and your desk. Stand a few feet away from your desk with your feet together. Place your palms on the desk’s edge, about a shoulder-width apart. Then, lower your chest to the edge of the desk and push back up. Repeat this move 20 times, inhaling on the way down and exhaling on the way back up.
You put a lot of hours at your desk each week running your small business, but your body doesn’t have to suffer. Sitting at your desk for hours every day negatively impacts your health, but there are ways to combat this stationary setting. With these deskercises, you’ll be able to improve your mental and physical health throughout the day!
Constantina Kokenes is a Content Specialist at Kabbage, a small business line of credit provider. She holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. When not in the small business world, Constantina loves cooking, baking, going on hikes, and playing with her cat and chinchilla.