If you work a 9-5 office job or freelance from home, you’ll probably be familiar with the feeling of sitting down too much. Back pain, discomfort, sluggishness and low mood are but a few among the endless list of consequences of being-chair bound for too long.
Our bodies are built to be upright, not to be seated for hours on end each day. Our joints, muscles, and bones all depend on and work with each other. Remaining idle for huge chunks of the day will therefore hinder the proper functioning of our muscles and joints, and will contribute to pain and discomfort in various parts of our bodies.
At HumbleWorks, we are passionate about helping our customers relieve back pain, increase productivity, and improve overall well-being by standing up at work and being more active during the day. Our sleek and specialised standing desks provide a fantastic opportunity to move your body, stretch, and exercise your muscles and joints.
Below, we outline 4 simple exercises that can be done throughout your workday to get your body moving, keep your NEAT levels up, and get your blood flowing.
1. Hamstring curls
This exercise is fantastic for stretching the legs and can be done to varying degrees of intensity. Stand up straight and bend one leg at a time up towards your buttocks. Again, remember to keep your back straight and in line with your centre of gravity. Keep the bent leg in line with your standing leg while pointing your toes towards the wall behind you.
For a deeper stretch, grab your foot and pull it towards the ceiling and touch it to your buttocks. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, slowly release, and alternate between your left and right legs.
2. Heel raises
Heel raises are great for stretching the legs and activating your calf muscles. Stand up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your heels to stand on your toes and hold for about three seconds. Slowly bring your heels back, hold for a second or two and repeat.
The key here is to keep your back straight and upright. Don’t sacrifice a straight, rigid back for a deeper squat. Rather, bend your knees as much as possible while maintaining a straight spine. Raise your arms out in front of you, bend your knees, and lower your body as low as you can without being uncomfortable. Stand up straight again, and repeat.
4. Shoulder rolls
Shoulder rolls are wonderful for strengthening and stretching your trapezius and deltoids, and even your pectoral muscles to a certain degree. This exercise is pretty simple. Standing up straight, imagine you are wearing large hoop earrings which you want to touch with your shoulders. Start by stretching your shoulders back and then roll them up towards the ‘earrings’ and down in a forward circular motion. Repeat this about ten times and then do the same movement in a backward circular motion.
Remember to take it slow at first. If you feel you need to take sit-down breaks as your body accustoms itself to this new way of working, feel free to do so. Just remember to gradually increase the amount of time you spend standing up and trying these exercises to get your body feeling better throughout the day. And don’t forget to browse through our beautiful collection of standing desks on our website!