Try These Exercises To Offset Sitting All Day

Try These Exercises To Offset Sitting All Day

Is sitting the new smoking? Some say that this is true, especially since research indicates a link between long periods of sitting and higher rates of blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. The sad reality is that about 80% of jobs are sedentary, meaning that most positions involve sitting for the majority of the day. This is especially true in the current work from home lifestyle that many people have adopted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Even though all of that sounds like terrible news, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The Mayo Clinic reports that an hour of moderately intense physical activity per day can help offset the effects of sitting. In 2019, a study monitored 3,500 Black individuals who sat for lengthy periods in front of the TV. The majority of those participants were much more likely to die of heart disease than those who sat all day at work. The takeaway here is that you may be able to counteract that time in the desk chair, but not if you plop in front of the TV for the rest of your time outside work hours. 

Even if you don’t have a full hour to spare every day, we encourage you to move for at least 15 minutes. Some movement is better than no movement! Consider the following exercises to help fight against that sedentary life


Let’s begin with a classic bodyweight exercise that helps strengthen the core. The goal of a plank is to achieve proper posture that goes against the force of gravity. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, stacking your shoulders over your hands and hips over your knees. Step your feet back, tighten your core, engage your pectorals, and squeeze your glutes. Work to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your feet, avoiding the urge to sag. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and then rest for one minute. Repeat two more times. 

T Push-Ups

This push-up variation is progression from the previous plank position and aims to target the pectoral and core muscles. From a plank position, spread the feet so that they are roughly six inches apart. Do a standard push-up and once you return back up to the starting position, rotate to your right and raise your right hand towards the ceiling. Rotate back to return to the starting position, complete another push-up, and then repeat on the other side. Continue alternating until you complete eight to 10 reps per side. 

Bodyweight Squat

The squat is a great exercise to get your blood flowing. It activates your glutes and quads, and helps you retain mobility and range of motion. Begin by standing up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Engage your core as you sit back, as if to sit down into a chair. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground (ensuring not to extend your knees over your toes), engage your glutes and drive through your heels to return to the starting position. Go for three sets of 10-12 reps, resting for one minute between each set. 

Glute Bridges

Similar to the bodyweight squat, this exercise aims to work the glutes, while simultaneously achieving optimal hip extension. The hip flexors can tighten when sitting, so this is a great exercise to counteract that. Lie flat on your back and bend your knees, planting your feet flat on the ground about six inches from your butt. Engage your glutes and drive through your heels to lift your hips off the ground. At the apex of the exercise, you should be in a straight line from the knees through the hips and down to your shoulders. Make sure not to arch your lower back, and then return to the starting position in a controlled motion. Complete three sets of eight to 10 reps. 

Bird Dogs

This is an excellent core workout that also activates your arms and legs. The main challenge of this exercise is to prevent the hips from rotating or sagging while extending your arm and leg. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, stacking your shoulders over your hands and hips over your knees. Reach your right hand out in front of you so that it is in line with your back. Simultaneously, extend your left leg out behind you to keep it in line with your body. Make sure to keep from swaying or tilting to one side. Square your hips and remain centered by engaging your core. Return to the starting position and then immediately switch sides. Continue alternating until you complete 10-12 reps per side. Rest and repeat two more times. 

Mountain Climbers

If you want to get your heart rate up and create more movement in your hips, this is a great exercise. When your muscles work quickly, there is a higher demand for blood flow and oxygen, which increases cardiovascular response. Begin in a standard high plank position, keeping your core engaged. Bring one knee towards your chest so that it is directly in the center of your core. Don’t bring it too high because that will likely cause you to round your back. Quickly extend the leg back and then alternate with the other knee. Continue alternating side to side for about 20-30 reps per side. Aim to keep your hips steady and prevent them from sinking.



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