8 Exercise Tips While Sitting at Your Computer

8 Exercise Tips While Sitting at Your Computer

Nowadays, people are spending a lot of time working on computers, or even having daily sessions of surfing, gaming, or reading. It is not precisely good for the body being seated in a computer all day long as this may result to muscle stiffness from sitting in one position.

This may also lead to backaches due to poor posture, and also eye strain.

Now, here are simple exercise tips that may help you improve your posture and keep your health in check.

1. Develop a good sitting posture for better circulation and muscle tone. Sit with your back in straight position and your shoulders back. Position your monitor so as to level it with your eyes that you can look directly at it without having to turn your body or crane your neck. Make sure that you do not lay you wrists on the keyboard or mouse pad so as to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Position your knees so that they are slightly higher than your hips and your feet should be flat on the floor or on a stool.

2. Perform simple stretching. While sitting, stretch your arms, legs, neck and torso to prevent your muscles being stiffed.

a. Neck: Slowly flex your head forward/backward, side to side and look right and left. This can be done almost anytime to lessen tension and strain. Never roll your head around your neck. This could cause damage to the joints of the neck.

b. Shoulders: Roll your shoulders forward around 10 times, then backward. This helps release the tension off your shoulders.

c. Arms and Shoulders: Brace your hands on the edge your desk, each about a shoulder width away from your body. Twist your hands in so they point toward your body and lean forward, hunching your shoulders. Take this a step further and push your shoulders and elbows closer to the desk.

d. Wrists: Roll your wrists regularly, around every hour or so. Roll the wrists 10 times clockwise, then 10 times counterclockwise. This will help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing.

e. Ankles: Roll your ankles regularly. As with your wrists, roll the ankles in a clockwise motion 3 times, then counterclockwise. This helps improve blood circulation, and prevents that tingling feeling you can get when blood circulation is cut off, also known as “Pins and Needles”.

f. Chest: Notice if you tend to hunch in front of the keyboard. To counter that, perform the following exercise:

Open your arms wide as if you are going to hug someone, rotate your wrists externally (thumbs going up and back) and pull your shoulders back. This stretch is moving your body the opposite way to being hunched and you should feel a good stretch across your upper chest.

g. Abdomen: Contract your abdominal and gluteal muscles, hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this for every few minutes all day long while you are working at your desk. You can also perform Kegels (pelvic floor exercises) while sitting.

h. Calves: Stretch your calves. While sitting, lift up your legs on the balls of your feet and set them down. Repeat until your legs are comfortably tired. Repeat after about 10 minutes later, and continue doing this routine for about an hour or so. This will exercise your calves, and will help prevent blood clots from developing in your legs. Blood clots are very common among middle-aged computer users.

3. Stand up and walk around a bit. Do this every half of hour. This will ensure continuous blood circulation in your arms and legs, and will keep them from getting too strained. Take a short walk outside your home or building if you have longer hours of breaks. Use stairs, if necessary, than elevator if going down. Aside from giving your legs and heart a good workout, you would be able to take in fresh air as well.

4. Give breaks for your eyes from focusing on computer screen. Shift your focus on other objects in the room. Do this every 30 minutes. This helps promote eye movement and lessens chances of eye irritation and headaches. Another technique to relax your eyes would be to rub your hands together, then place your cupped hands over your eyes.

5. When having downtime caused by rebooting or large file downloads, you may take advantage of that to take short walks around your station. You may also try doing a few push-ups, sit-ups and/or jumping jacks, as long as you will not disturb others.

6. Have some tools to do other exercises. Provide a hand gripper that is cheap, small and light. Squeeze your gripper when you are just reading something and you won’t need to use your hands for that. You may also use an elastic band to stretch your arms. Do it by pulling apart the elastic band. This will stretch and work the muscles slightly. Invest in a large size stability ball or stability ball-style desk chair, and sit on it with back straight and abs firm.

You burn calories stabilizing your core and body on the ball. While an actual stability ball is more effective, the chair is a more viable option to use in an office environment. While sitting, you can bounce or do basic toning exercises. Use the actual ball form in moderation when typing, as this is probably not the most supportive seating to prevent carpal tunnel and tendinitis.

7. Take a few deep breaths or get some fresh air outside, if possible. You can work your abdominal muscles by holding your stomach for few seconds while breathing in, then release when breathing out.

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8. Make a habit of drinking water every half hour. You may have a bottle of water by your side. Doing this consistently will help you to feel alert. You may also walk to water refilling stations to refill your glass or bottle. By doing so, you are exercising your legs at the same time.

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