Is sitting the new smoking? Some might argue that said statement is a little extreme, but new research is starting to show otherwise. The corporate life is no walk in the park, with many literally sitting at their desks all day with little pauses between. Studies have suggested that the prolonged sedentary position may have damaging impacts to your health, including slowing down your blood circulation and digestive system. You can also blame your tightening muscles and lower back pains on being glued to your desk all day.
If you feel awkward doing stretching exercises at your desk, remember there is never any shame in keeping yourself healthy. Your body will thank you for preventing the damage done from sitting in front of your computer for hours almost every day. From lethargy to aching bones, the list of problems slowing creeping on your body grows longer by the day. So cut the list down by a mile, and get off your seat! We spoke to Filipe Pereira, Fitness Manager of Gravity Club Singapore, who gives us some tips to battle the terribly long days sitting at your desk.
You may also like: Why Yoga Is Great For Travellers, According to Yoga Teacher To The Stars Guru Jagat
Filipe Pereira, Fitness Manager, Gravity Club Singapore
“Some of them can be done when no one is looking, so you don’t feel weird, and some can be influential so everyone in your office does them with you,” Pereira explains. “You can get this sequence every hour as a form of team building, and allocate a teammate to take on the responsibility.”
“People who sit at their computers for hours every day tend to feel lethargic and lack focus,” Pereira tells us. “Aches and pains, not to mention the weight gain that can result from hunching over your desk all day.”
A revised version of the squat, the exercise will also work your thighs, hamstrings and buttocks. Make sure your feet are squared up with your shoulders, and as you sit and stand, make sure your knees do not go over your feet.
“If you stand up and sit down over and over without using your hands it can be a challenge. Aim for 5 to 10 repetitions every hour,” says Pereira.
Gravity Singapore's Gym Floor
“Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears back and down. Repeat three to five times every hour,” says Pereira. For variations, shrug your shoulders in a clockwise direction, pause, and repeat in an anti-clockwise direction.
A relatively easy stretching exercise, the shoulder shrug can also be done while walking to the restroom, for example. The purpose of this exercise is to alleviate early symptoms of tension around the neck and shoulder area. Avoid slouching at your desk, and always keep a good posture. Most importantly, listen to your body – if your muscles are starting to ache, then you could probably do with a short walk.
You may also like: These are the best spas to book in Singapore for the ultimate digital detox
Unable to commit to the gym? Don't give up completely
Among the most common complains for desk-bound executives include the nasty lower back ache, which may afflict even the most active bodies.
“Inhale and as you exhale, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand, and grab the arm of the chair with your left,” says Pereira. “Hold the twist and let your eyes continue the stretch. Try and see how far around the room you can peer.”
“Repeat on the other side and complete this sequence four times every hour,” he adds.
You may also like: These Subscription Boxes Containing Healthy Eats Get Delivered Right to Your Doorstep
Next, Pereira suggests looking up to release upper body tensions.
“Sit up tall in your chair or stand up,” he says. “Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers. Turn the palms to the ceiling as you lift your chin up. Inhale, exhale, release. Repeat five times every hour.”
Finally, Pereira suggests substituting email for walks, not eating at your desk and drinking a minimum of 250ml of water by the hour.
“Stay hydrated while you are moving and avoid eating at your desk,” says the Fitness Manager. “Digestion needs movement so the food can move through your digestive system efficiently.”
Gravity is an ultra-exclusive gym in Singapore for C-Suite professionals, senior executives and those who want exclusive, highly bespoke and holistic wellness services.
You may also like: "Gravity", the invite-only gym for CEOs
Gravity Singapore's stunning rooftop pool overlooks the iconic Marina Bay