While working an office job sure has its benefits, sitting down for most of the day has its risks. Your body is meant to move throughout the day. In fact, a review of 47 studies on the effects of sitting found that “…people who sat for prolonged periods of time had a higher risk of dying from all causes…The negative effects were even more pronounced in people who did little or no exercise.” (1).
A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimated that prolonged sitting is linked to 430,000 all-cause deaths in over 54 countries (2).
People who sit down most of the day are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes, cancer, dementia, and heart disease. Sitting down also impairs sugar and fat metabolism. Plus, sitting down consumes 30% fewer calories than when you’re standing, leading your body to start storing energy as fat.
While exercising doesn’t fix all the problems associated with sitting, it does make a big difference in improving your health. So, make sure to regularly get up and move around.
5 Chair Exercises
You don’t even have to get away from your desk to do this routine!
1. Knee Pull-Ins
This exercise works your core and lower abs to fight lower tummy flab.
- Sit tall on the edge of your chair.
- Place your feet firmly on the ground in front of you at hip’s width apart.
- Keep your back straight with you belly button pulling in towards the spine and lift your right knee towards your chest.
- Bring your arms towards your shin to get a bigger stretch in your lower abs.
- Do 20-30 reps, alternating your knees.
2. Double Knee Lift
This exercise works out all your abdominal muscles keep you trim and tight.
- Start in a sitting position with your knees touching.
- Place your hands and arms on the armrests. If your chair doesn’t have arm rests, simply hold the seat of the chair.
- Keeping your back straight, lift both of your knees to your chest.
- Lower your feet down to the ground, but do not let them touch.
- Repeat for 10-20 reps.
3. Oblique Pull Ups
These modified double knee lifts melt away love handles to define your waistline.
- Start in a sitting position, resting your arms on the armrests. Lean to one side of your chair to partial lift your bum off the chair.
- Repeat the same motion as the double knee lift.
- Follow up by leaning to the other side and repeating the motion.
- Do 10-20 reps on each side.
4. Floor Reaches
Like obliques, flour reaches fight fat storage in your hips and sides.
- Place your feet back on the ground and sit tall.
- Straighten your arms out to your sides at shoulder height.
- Twist your torso and lean forward to touch your left toes with your right fingers. Keep your arms still as you do so.
- Straighten up and repeat the motion, touching your right toes with your left fingers.
- Repeat the motion for 20-30 reps., alternating each time.
5. Pull Up
This exercise works out your core, arms, back and shoulders to get leaner all-around!
- Sit in a chair without wheels, pressing it against a wall for better stability.
- Place your arms on the armrests and push yourself up off the chair. At the same time, use your abs to pull up your knees.
- Hold for as long as possible and slowly lower yourself back down.
There you have it, 5 chair exercises you can do anytime to stay in shape! If you can, get up and move every hour or so if you’re spending the day at your desk. As the routine gets easier, repeat the set 2-3 times a day.