“Deskercises” to Perform Between Zoom Classes

Photo from Kintec.net

With most classes being on Zoom this semester, students are sitting at their desks more than ever before. Without walking from class to class, bodies are not moving as much as usual and can start to feel stiff.

An analysis of 13 studies on sitting time concluded that “those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.”

Instead of pulling up TikTok during breaks between classes, use this moment to clear both mind and body. When you don’t have time to take a walk, these exercises and stretches are perfect to perform right at your desk.

Exercises
Chair Squats

Stand up from your chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Practice lowering your body back down until you touch the chair and stand right back up.

Photo from Pinterest.com
Arm Circles/Pulses

Hold your arms out straight to the side at shoulder height. Move your arms in small movements circling backward. For the arm pulses, lower your arms to your sides and face your palms towards the back. Keeping your arms straight, pulse your hands behind you to help strengthen your triceps and stretch your shoulders.

Photo from thenewpotato.com
Photo from snacknation.com
Tricep Dips

If you have a sturdy chair (or bed) stand with your back to the chair and knees bent, place both of your hands facing forward and palms flat on the surface. Bend your elbows straight back, lowering yourself down while keeping your back close to the chair.

Photo from verywellfit.com
Seated Leg Raises

This exercise can be done in the middle of class without anyone noticing! Sitting upright, straighten one of your legs so that it’s parallel to the floor and hold it there for 10 seconds then lower; repeat on the other leg. You will condition the front and back of your thighs as well as your glutes, all while sitting in class.

Photo from Pinterest.com
Glute Kickbacks

Pretend like the back of your desk chair is a barre and hold on with two hands. Place one of your legs in front of the other. Keeping your weight on that front leg, lift your other leg up off the ground, engaging your core and glutes. Bonus: put a resistance band around your legs to add tension!

Photo from self.com
Stretches
Shoulder Mobility

Reach your hands behind your back as shown to clasp your fingers together; hold stretch for 10 seconds or more.

Photo from yogajournal.com
Lower Back/Hamstrings

Prop one foot on top of the desk or chair and reach forward, feeling the stretch for at least 20 seconds, then switch to your other leg.

Photo from popsugar.com
Chest

Clasp your hands behind your lower back. Arch out your chest and raise your chin.

Photo from snack nation.com
Spinal Twist

Sitting in your chair, twist your upper body toward one side of the chair and look behind you. Exhale and hold this position for several seconds before repeating on the other side.

Wrists

Your wrists can feel tight after spending hours typing and texting in the same position. Standing up, place both of your hands on your desk with your palms facing down and fingertips facing towards you. Hold stretch for 20 seconds.

Photo from snacknation.com
Tips for Proper Sitting at a Desk
  • Your eyes should be level with the top 1/3 of your computer screen. If it is too low try placing your computer on top of some books or binders to increase the height
  • Set your feet flat on the floor
  • Place a cushion on the back of your chair to provide back support.
  • It’s important to take breaks! Take a walk, call a friend or stretch out your body
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