Workouts You Can Do at Your Workplace

In these days of hectic work schedules, work related health problems such as backaches, neck pain and weight gain are becoming increasingly common. These problems are more prone in women than in men. Sedentary lifestyle at a workplace is also linked to cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type-2 diabetes. Health experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity per day, 5 days a week or 20 minutes of intensive cardiovascular activity, 3 days a week.

A few tips to remain active at your workplace are given below:

* Aim to sit no longer than 50 minutes at a stretch.

* Take little exercise breaks during the day.

* If you have an extra 10 minutes left after lunch, take a brisk walk outside.

* Always take the steps instead of the elevator.

* Stretch whenever possible, as this relaxes the muscles.

The following exercises are recommended to ease muscle tension, and relieve workplace fatigue:

Squats:
Stand in front of your desk with hands flat on top of it for balance. Sit back into a squat making sure that your weight is on your heels and that your knees do not move past your toes. Hold the squat position for 5 seconds. Be careful not to involve the back in the exercise.

Neck stretch:
Stand/sit with the neck relaxed and the back straight. Gently tilt the head to each side, then to the front and back, holding each position for a count of 10.

Wrist Stretch:
Gently apply pressure to the back of the right hand, making the fingers to point down towards the floor, stretching the top of the wrist in the process. To stretch the muscles on the underside, just reverse the above process.

Chest stretch:
Find an uncluttered corner in your office or cubicle. Stand about a foot away from the walls, facing the corner. Raise your elbows until they level with your shoulders and then place both the forearms on the walls. Then, keeping the body in alignment, lean into the corner and hold this position for 10 seconds. You should feel a good stretch across the pectoral muscles in your chest.

Leg stretch:
While sitting at your desk, extend one leg, and squeeze the muscle on top of your leg at the fullest extension. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then repeat the same with the other leg.

Calf Raises:
Easy, yet an effective exercise for the lower leg is the calf raise. While holding the back of a chair or desk, balance on one leg and raise up on the toes so you feel a contraction in the calf. Hold and for 3 counts, then lower until your heel almost touches the floor. Repeat 15-20 times on the same leg then switch.

Lower Back Stretch:
Finally, to stretch the lower back region, sit up tall in your chair with the right leg crossed over the left. Gently look over your left shoulder, and rotate the body far enough so that you feel a stretch along the lower back muscles. Make sure to keep the hips facing forward while you hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

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