As designers spend most of their time crouched and slouched in front of their computer screens, getting around to some healthy exercise and routine workouts can be quite challenging. Working behind their desks around the clock, designers are a big chunk of working professionals who need to allocate portions of their time into getting some good physical activity. While this may seem like an impossible or at the very least quite improbable, it does not necessarily have to be. While it is understandable that panning out a workout schedule may not always be very practical, there are other ways by which you can get the exercise you need without having to pencil in a seemingly strict and demanding routine.
The setbacks of having bad posture and poor physical activity are known to pretty much all of us, in addition to the disadvantages of having your eyes stuck on a computer screen. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you practice workplace wellness as best you can while you’re busy drowning yourself in work. Aside from getting the right amount of resting time, designers need a few active breaks every now and then; which is why we have dedicated this post to bringing forth some very easy and essential desk exercises you can practice conveniently within your workspace.
1. Core Strengthener
While nibbling on a few tasty treats here and there is very tempting, don’t forget that they will all be rolling down on your abs before you know it. The Core Strengthener is a good exercise to avoid those extra pounds. First off you, start by sitting upright in your chair with your weight evenly spread on both feet. Now, without tilting your pelvis or slumping your back, lift your right foot and bring your thigh close up to your torso while keeping your torso muscles tight. Take a pause, lower your leg and repeat as instructed with your left foot. Alternate for two sets of eight repetitions.
2. Chair Tricep Dips
This exercise may appear a little embarrassing at first, but it produced great results guaranteed. All you have to do is grab hold of the arms of your chair and dip down to the floor without allowing your bottom to touch the floor, basically suspending it while you dip. These Chair Tricep Dips will work out your triceps and your core. Repeat five sets of 30 seconds duration each.
3. The Pectoral Stretch
This is another one of those exercise that may look a little silly and embarrassing, but cast those feelings aside because when you start seeing the results it will all have been well worth your while. Firstly, you start off by interlocking your fingers and placing your hands (palm down) on the back of your head. Then you tilt your pelvis forward, push your chest towards your desk and pull your elbows back. Hold your position for 30 seconds and repeat every 30 minutes.
4. Seated Hip Stretch
The Seated Hip Stretch is a great stretching exercise your can practice more than just once or twice throughout your day. While you’re sitting down, cross one of your ankles over your other leg’s knee and sit up tall. Following this, gently lean forward and you should begin to feel a stretch in your glute and hip.
5. Wrist Exercise
Most of us practice bad posture casually and often unknowingly on a regular basis, especially while we’re working. This is particularly true for designers who spend a lot of time on the computer designing details that require the attention of an often slouched back. The solution to this is quite simple. Just make sure you exercise your wrists throughout the day so as to help free your posture. Simply roll your wrists clockwise and then counterclockwise ten times every hour or so.
6. Latissium Dorsi Stretch
This is another super effective desk exercise that should relieve the pressure of sitting dormant for hours on end every day. For this stretching exercise, you start by interlocking your fingers from your pectoral stretch and then straighten your arms so that your palms move to face the ceiling. Now lean sideways such that your body rocks to the left and then to right – feeling a stretch down the opposite side to which you’re leaning. Hold each side for 20-30 seconds and repeat every 30 minutes.
7. Big Back Huh
This is a good exercise to help relieve yourself from those aching back pains you get after a long day at work. Simple hug yourself, stretching your arms well around your body. Place your right hand on your left shoulder and the left hand on your right shoulder, then breath in and out while calmly releasing the are between your shoulder blades.
8. Dumbbell Curls
All you have to do in the exercise is to grab a dumbbell and do bicep curls every 20 repetitions around 3 times a day. Straighten out your arms on your sides and then pull the dumbbell up to your shoulder with your palms up. This exercise can be repeated while you’re on the phone or going through some work stuff.
9.Neck Range Movement
The perfect exercise to help prevent your nick from getting stiff after all that focused and busy work day. Simply turn your head to the left and the right, then up and down in controlled movements until you feel the stretch. Repeat these movements every 20 minutes, however try not to roll your neck as this can cause tension between the small joints in your spine.
10.Straight Leg Toe Points
A great exercise to help stretch out your legs and relax the tension in the muscles from sitting down all day. Start by straightening your legs out in front of you and pressing your feet together. Then lift your up as high as you can, point your toes and flex your feet while keeping your legs straight and lifted the whole time. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps, preferably without breaks.
11. Leg Lifts
This exercise helps you tone your abs in the comfort of your office. Start by sitting up straight at the edge of your seat, firmly gripping the arms of the chair. Then lean back on the chair while maintaining a straight back while focusing on your shoulders and upper torso. Stretch your legs and lower them until your heels are just above the floor, then raise them up slowly until you feel muscles contracting in your abdomen. Repeat 6 times per set.
12. Bicycles Exercise
This is one of the easiest and most effective exercises when it comes to working your legs and lower body. Simple lean back into your chair and start rotating your legs and feet in a circular motion as though you are riding an invisible bicycle. Continue for 30 seconds and repeat as desired.
Illustrations by David Buisan.