Workplace Workouts

Deskside exercises to tone your tummy and ease tense back and shoulder muscles.

internet_art Laura Ljungkvist

Q: With three kids and a full-time job, I rarely have time to work out and I get stiff sitting at my computer all day. Are there exercises I can do from my desk?

A: If you're hunched over your desk, your shoulders are probably rounded, which can indicate weak upper back muscles, says exercise physiologist Carol Espel of Equinox Fitness Club in Scarsdale, NY. To combat this, sit up in your chair and drop your shoulders as far from your ears as possible. Pull in your stomach muscles and squeeze your shoulder blades together so your arms rotate back. Hold for three seconds, then release. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

Sitting all day makes your hip joints very tight while overly stretching your hamstrings. Counter this by leaning your left hand against a wall as you lunge with your right foot forward, left foot back; both knees should be bent so your hips are slightly higher than your knees. Hold for 15 seconds as you pull in your stomach muscles. Repeat two to three times on each side. And don't forget to breathe!

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Copyright © 2002. Reprinted with permission from the August 2002 issue of Child magazine.

    All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.