Exercises at the desk

Guidance on exercises for people who spend most of their time sitting at desks.

There is quite a lot written on this subject and we have reviewed a number of reputable resources to put together this straightforward guide.

The opinions from various experts in their fields include:

  • the way you sit (slouch maybe?), type, and hold the phone may be slowly creating problems for your skeletal structure, joints, and muscles.

  • carpal tunnel syndrome is an often quoted consequence for people working on computers all day but it can be more than that with pains traveling up the arm to the elbow and shoulder which can also then translate to the neck and back. On a positive note, however, muscle tension and back pain can be relieved with stretching exercises that can be done at your desk and later on in this article you can click through to some demonstrations and advice.

  • the longer term consequences of a sedentary occupation and lifestyle. Muscle tension, joint pains and weight gain which result from sitting at work all day are just the beginning. "People shouldn't be complacent about moving just because they're not obese" says Angela Smith, MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine. "There are a lot of skinny people who, because they don't exercise for strength and balance, are osteoporotic fractures waiting to happen."

So what can you do to address and prevent pain, tension and stiffness and also to improve your energy and alertness? There are two resources we think are of help:

Click here for the Mayo Clinic video guides - 5 guides that are very helpful and clear the other is from the WebMD website (used by Boots as their resource) who consulted orthopaedic surgeons and exercise specialists for 12 simple stretching exercises at your desk that will release tension from head to toe. They take only a few minutes. We have de-americanised it and added some thoughts too. Click here for their guide to 'The 12 Best Stretching Exercises at Your Desk'

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© 2012 7futures Ltd. Please note that, at 7Futures, our role is to help educate and encourage our clients to take positive responsibility for their wellbeing. We are not medical doctors and are not able to offer individual medical advice. We always recommend you should discuss with your GP or other medical professional before making any changes you hope will impact your wellbeing, or that of your current/future family.  7Futures Ltd offers generic information which is for educational purposes only. The information we provided is not a prescription system and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. As such our materials, videos products and communications are for general information purposes only and should not be read as a personal recommendation for specific changes in lifestyle behaviour, nutrition, or exercise. Please click here for a clear description of our services and the relationship with you as a client. You should not participate in any of our services until you have studied this link...it is for your benefit.

Mark Davies