Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on December 02, 2011
National Institutes of Health; The Centers for Disease Control. Dori Ricci, Master Personal Trainer, Athletic Club Northeast.
© 2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.
Could this be what you planned for today?
A quick stop at the gym on the way to work.
A brisk walk at lunch.
And enough time after work to get out and do something energetic and fun. But instead...
Elevator doors closing.
Despite our best intentions, life gets in the way and you find yourself stuck at your desk all day, day after day. Stiff necks, sore backs, and blossoming waistlines are often the result.
The National Institutes of Health says the wrist tops the list for repetitive motion injuries, closely followed by the head, neck, shoulders and back.
Solutions? Get up at least once an hour. Instead of emailing, go talk to your co-worker in person.
Make sure your workstation is ergonomically healthy.
Place your monitor at arm's length with the top of the screen 2-3 inches above eye level.
Feet are on the floor or on a stable footrest.
Hands and wrists are flat and even with forearms when using a keyboard and mouse.
And shoulders are relaxed, with upper arms hanging normally at your sides.
Take breaks often and consider doing exercises at your desk.
Ok, one more set here.
Dori Ricci is a master personal trainer. She says that you can reduce strain, stretch muscles and even stay in shape with a few simple moves.
He's going to put his arms up with his elbows at shoulder height at about a ninety degree angle. And we're going to have him step forward, as far forward as he can and hold that position.
Stand in the corner to stretch your back and neck and improve your posture. Strengthen your arms with this isometric arm press.
And if you keep yourself seated nice and tall you can also engage some of those core muscles in your abdominals and lower back.
You could also try a wall press.
And that's going to work the chest and a little bit on the bicep. Also it will work your core muscles if you keep your back nice and straight.
Need more of a challenge? Use the edge of your desk.
So we're going to put the hands just about as wide. Move the feet back a little bit until the body is perfect straight, hold the abdominals in and engage the abs and keep the back nice and straight.
Don't forget to work your gluts and abs with this simple squat.
And this is a great exercise to strengthen your lower body without irritating your knees at all. If you have trouble with your knees, it's an excellent exercise to strengthen the thighs.
If you're really serious about office exercise and your workplace agrees, replace your chair with a ball.
Then you'll be using your core muscles all day while you're working at your desk.
Anytime you move you're going to engage your abdominal muscles and your lower back and it's also going to encourage better posture.
You can really work up a sweat and strengthen your core. To get all the details, watch our Desk Exercise series. For WebMD, I'm Sandee LaMotte.