Office Worker Exercises

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    A friend and I want to start a project where we teach stretches and simple exercises to people who sit in chairs for prolonged periods and are generally immobile all day, such as office workers. We have come up with a list of remedial stretches/exercises. The exercises are split into ones that can be done in the office (which will be simple and easy) and ones for the home (tougher and more elaborate).

    We wanted the stretches and exercises to target every single joint and muscle. However, we want it to be easy to implement so that people don’t get put off.

    Are there any other stretches or exercises we should add? What can we or should we remove?

    For the workplace (can be done hourly if needed):

    – Neck stretches and rotations; neck strengthening exercises using hands
    – Squeezing shoulder blades to open up chest and improve posture; shoulder circling
    – Reach-over-to-side stretches
    – Bent knee L-sit (need alternative for office)
    – Toe touches
    – Table bridge (feet on floor, hands on table; can be done on wall)
    – Wrist/elbow stretches (both passive and active) and circling
    – Twist holds (in chair or standing)
    – Standing on one leg to strengthen ankles; ankle/foot circling
    – Calf-raise holds
    – Raising feet and holding to stretch shins

    For the home:

    – Australian pull-ups
    – Pushups
    – Leg raises/planks
    – Bridges
    – Squats
    – Bridge holds/L-sit holds/twist holds (like Trifecta)



    Robby Taylor

    I think that’s too much stuff for the typical office worker to bother doing. If anything, just have them do the trifecta at work. As way to scale L-sits, you can have them do an L sit on a sturdy chair or desk, letting their legs hang lower. The process of attaining the master level of those exercises will give you most of the most important benefits of all of those exercises you listed. Most of the types of problems people in that setting will have is with the back, specifically lower back, posture, or some kind of shoulder or hip impingement. The bridge and twist hold alone will build fortitude for almost everything except for the neck…but if you have a healthy, mobile spine it is likely that the neck will follow, especially if you train neck bridges. Heck, the L-sit alone will build (and requires) more strength than any of the exercises you listed in the home workout. Speaking of which, the home workout looks great. You may want to include alternatives for people who are reasonably strong (namely pull ups and dips).

    If you wanted to add something else, though, the wrist stretches and circling are great.


    Yes, looking back at the office list, it is a bit overkill! Here is new version; just a modified version of Trifecta since people might not prefer the floor versions in the office:

    – (Table) bridges

    – Bent knee L-sit/Toe touches

    – Twist holds (in chair or standing)

    – General stretches (preferably active) and joint circling

    Is it ok for people who do not have the strength to hold themselves in an L-sit to do toe touches until they are stronger? Or are there easier alternatives?

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