How to Exercise While Sitting at Your Computer?

Sitting at the computer all day is not exactly good for the body. Doing some simple things can improve your posture and health if you have to be at a desk all day long.

Steps

  1. Sit properly in a good chair designed for desk work. Your back should be straight, and your head should be looking directly into your monitor. If you have to look down or up, you need to adjust the height of either the screen or your chair. If you keep leaning forward, first get your eye sight checked. If your eye sight is fine use a loose belt or string to tie yourself to the chair. After a while your posture will improve and you’ll no longer need this restraint.
  2. Maintain an ergonomic body posture while typing. 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 of some sort.
  3. Stand up every half hour. Walk around a few steps, stretch your legs, and give your eyes a break from focusing on your computer screen.
  4. Roll your head around your neck periodically, but avoid rolling your head all the way back. Do the motion slowly clockwise for 1-3 iterations and then repeat in the opposite direction.
  5. Roll your wrists regularly (this will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing).
  6. Contract your stomach and butt and hold it there for a few seconds, then release. Do this all day long as you are in your chair.
  7. Stretch your arms, legs, neck and torso while sitting. This will help prevent you from feeling stiff.
  8. Take advantage of the downtime created by rebooting or large file downloads to get up and try something more ambitious such as doing a few push ups, sit ups, and/or jumping jacks. Beware of your snickering co-workers though.
  9. Acquire a hand gripper. They are cheap, small and light. When you have to read something either on the screen or on paper, you probably won’t be using your hands very often so squeeze your gripper. It is an excellent forearm workout.
  10. Acquire an elastic band (also cheap, small and light) and do the actions mentioned in step 7 with it (i.e. when stretching your arms, do it by pulling apart the elastic band). You will not only stretch but it will also work the muscles slightly.
  11. Take a few deep breaths. If possible, get some fresh air in your lungs.

Tips

  • As long as something is moving, you will be helping to keep yourself in better shape. Constant movement will burn calories and contribute to cardio health. While exercising at your computer is helpful, it is not a substitute for going to the gym or conducting a regular exercise program.
  • Don’t sit still. Fidgeting is a good way to keep moving. Even something like tapping your foot. But don’t make too much noise, however you fidget, the repetitive noises may get on people’s nerves.
  • Always have water nearby to drink.
  • If you’re all alone, try shutting off the computer for a bit and exercise. If you’re on a phone call, get up and do stretches, or leg lifts, anything to keep moving during down time away from the desk.
  • Try combining opposing muscle groups (flexors and extensors, e.g. biceps vs. triceps) to get a good workout. Clasp your hands together palms facing each other. Pull-up with one hand while pushing down with the other.
  • Play music while working to provoke body movement.

Warnings

  • Your body needs more exercise than just what you do at the computer, but following these steps will contribute to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
  • Do not sit at your PC for a long time.
  • Steps 7 and 8, if not done in moderation may cause you to start sweating, which may not be a pleasant sight/odor in an office environment. Keep in mind you are doing these to prevent getting stiff and save the enthusiasm for the gym.

Victor

An expert, trainer, senior lecturer and consultant in IT technologies, IT Security, Online Digital Services and Interactive solutions. Co-founder of intouch holding, a group of companies specialized in online digital services. Senior lecturer at Notre Dame University, Lebanon since 2002. For more detailed information, please visit the "About Victor" page.

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