A common issue many are faced with is poor posture as a result of modern-day lifestyles. Sitting at a computer desk all day is stressful to back and neck muscles. This contributes to poor posture and misaligns your sense of balance. Poor posture may create other problems such as back ache, fatigue, and even affect your cognitive function. When you consider that office workers sit for most of their 8-hour workday, then sit in a car, bus, or train for a commute—and then sit even more once home from work while browsing the internet or watching television at night, that adds up to a lot of sedentary hours each day.
The Mayo Clinic indicates that those who sit for four hours a day or more increase the risk of a cardiovascular event like chest pain or heart attack by about 125 percent. And the Center for Disease Control says that one in every four deaths in the United States is related to heart disease. They estimate that adds up to about 610,000 people every year.
In addition to the exercises you can do on a balance board, here are some suggestions for lower body exercises to do during the day:
Try this exercise if you want to tone and refresh your legs. Sit down and extend your right leg to hip level. Hold for as long as you can, then relax. Switch and do the same with the left side for a full repetition. Do 3 – 5 repetitions.
Strengthen your abs even when you’re on a call. With your arms crossed over your chest, sit up straight and tall. Compress your abdominal muscles tightly and curl your chest down toward your hips. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Return to an upright position and repeat again. Do 3 – 5 repetitions.
Stretch out your calves with this easy exercise. Do this exercise while standing at your desk. Don’t worry if you need to hold on for balance and support. Raise your heels a few inches off the ground. Hold this position, and then slowly lower your heels back down.
This stretch strengthens hamstrings, which are susceptible to sports-related injuries. While at your standing desk, bring one foot up to your backside, and then lower. Repeat 10 – 15 reps, and switch legs.
If you’re self-conscious, this is an exercise you can do without your coworkers ever noticing. While sitting or standing at your desk, contract your gluteal muscles and hold tight for three seconds. Then, relax and contract again. Repeat this move throughout the day for a firmer, stronger backside.
This exercise uses your inner and outer thighs, glutes, and hips. Stand with your feet parallel, hip width apart. Take one step to the side, straightening one leg while bending the other. Hold your position for a few seconds, and then return to standing. Switch legs and repeat. Do 5 – 10 repetitions.
March in Place
It’s possible to burn up to 225 calories per hour when pacing or marching in place at your desk. You can do this in short bursts throughout your work day. Activity stimulates the brain, so you’ll be more focused as well.
This exercise is good for building strength and endurance. Stand with your back against a flat wall, and bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30– 60 seconds. For some extra burn, try crossing your right ankle over your left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch.
Another exercise to keep your legs moving. Keep a small flexible ball or a hand towel at your desk. Hold the ball or towel between your knees. Squeeze the ball as hard as you can between your knees and hold to the count of five. Release the tension slightly without letting the ball fall out from your knees. Repeat the squeeze 12 to 15 times.
Squats are good exercise for the entire lower body. Keeping your back straight and using the edge of the desk for support if necessary, bend from your knees like you were sitting in a chair. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, where your chair would be, return to the standing position.