Do you Deskercise?

It is always suggested to get the recommended 30 minutes of cardio five times per week. However, this does not undo the health risks of a desk-bound lifestyle. 

So, what is a worker chained to their desk to do? Luckily, for those that are cubicle-bound, deskercises are amazing exercises that will improve overall fitness levels and heart health. Although they don’t promise any Olympic medals or a six-pack, they will improve strength and burn a few calories.

Cardio

  1. The Twinkle Toe; tap into your inner Fred Astaire and speedily tap those toes on the floor under your desk.
  2. The Stair Master; skip the elevator and get your heart rate going by taking the stairs. Simple and effective change to your routine, and to feel the leg burn!
  3. The Wanderer; wander the halls or take the long way back from the printer to your cubicle.

Leg and Butt

  1. The Wall Street Sit; standing with your back straight against the wall, slide down until your knees are bent and thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 seconds. For an extra challenge, take the right ankle and rest it over the left knee, then switch!
  2. Patient Printing; don’t just stand at the printer, do some calf raises. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and press up onto your toes, pause at the top and then lower down. Do one leg at a time and switch. 
  3. Seated Leg Raiser; if you are desk-bound, consider leg raisers. Whilst seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds, then lower to the ground touching the floor. Repeat and alternate legs.

Shoulders and Arms

  1. Stapler Curls; you don’t need 20kg dumbbells to curl, a stapler will do! Seated or standing, take the stapler in one hand with palm facing upwards, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest. Water bottles work too!
  2. Secret Handshake; sitting up straight with feet flat on the floor, give yourself a handshake with one hand’s thumb pointing to the floor and the other to the ceiling, then pull. Resist the motion in both of your arms and hold for 10 or more seconds before release.
  3. Casual leans; if you are stuck in line waiting for the printer or bathroom, go up against the wall, only leaning with your forearm. Lean into the wall until the upper arm almost touches the wall, then push back out. Repeat this for 15 or more reps, or until your first in line.

Chest, back and neck

  1. Pencil Pinchers; rolling the back of the shoulders until shoulder blades are pinched together, hold for 5-10 seconds then release. Repeat this 12-15 times. Try holding a pencil there!
  2. The Shoulder Shrug; this one is simple, raise shoulder blades up to the ears and hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat this for 15 reps.
  3. The Wall Push up; if you don’t have room for regular pushups, wall pushups work just as well. Lean against the wall with hands flat, arms are parallel to the ground and bend the elbows to bring the body toward the wall! Repeat this for 12-15 reps.

Core

  1. The Posture Perfecter; practice perfect posture by adjusting your chair height to make sure the feet, hips and arms are at 90-degree angles to the floor. No more slouching!
  2. The Abs Squeeze; take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles as you inhale, upon exhale bringing these muscles toward the spine.
  3. The Desk Chair Swivel; have a swivel chair? Sit upright in your chair with your feet hovering over the floor, hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb. Use the core to swivel the chair side to side. Repeat this for 15 reps.

Be sure to have a reminder to set aside five minutes of your day to deskercise!

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.