The average American spends 9-10 hours of their day sitting, and in some occupations, like telecommunications, employees typically spend 12 hours sitting every day. This is not a healthy state of affairs – studies show that prolonged sitting can increase your risk of death from virtually all health problems, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Regular exercise, like going to the gym or for a jog, does not seem to significantly counteract sitting’s bad effects, but there is evidence that small and frequent changes in your daily sedentary position might. For example, research shows that for those who sit for a living, just 2 minutes out of every hour spent walking around increased their lifespan by 33% compared to those who did not.
Thus, figeting has gained new respect! While sitting less is certainly a surer bet for optimal health, figeting on the job is a good habit to acquire. Here are 10 figeting exercises developed by experts in the sports and exercise field. You can do these in your office (or home) without causing a ruckus and they’re enough of a challenge to help counteract some of that sitting down time. For those who figet moderately or often, longer sitting time should not increase mortality risk.
- Semi-Pushups: Place both hands on your desk, walk your feet back to a 45-degree angle and so 12 push-ups. Exhale forcefully as you go down.
- Book Press: To work your triceps, grab a heavy book, hold it behind your head, then extend your arms up. Drop it back down by your neck and repeat.
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Squeeze your shoulder blades together for 10 seconds, as though you’re trying to hold a pencil between them. Release and repeat. Good for improving hunched posture.
- Office Yogi: Keep a yoga mat under your desk and try your favorite positions (like plank or downward dog) for stress relief.
- Chair Squats: Stand 6 inches in front of your chair, then lower yourself until you behind hits the edge, then pop back up and repeat.
- Tricep Desk Dips: Facing away from your desk, place your hands shoulder-width apart with your legs extended. Bend your arms backward then straighten them (mostly), keeping the tension on your triceps (not your elbow joints).
- Wall Sits: Stand against a blank wall, then squat down to a 90-degree angle. Slide back up and repeat. This helps tone your quads.
- Standing Calf Raises: Hold on to the back of a chair with your feet together. Rise up to raise your calves, hold for 10 seconds and release and repeat. Good for strengthening calf muscles.
- Get a (Leg) Raise: While sitting, straighten one leg and hold for 10 seconds. Lower it almost to the floor, hold 10 seconds. Repeat with your other leg. This helps tighten your abs.
- Phone Pacing: Get a headset for your phone. Every time it rings, stand up and pace while talking. In general, aim to increase your number of steps throughout the day.
- Ideally, try to limit sitting to no more than 3 hours a day.
- Organize your office space so that you have to stand up to reach regularly used files, the phone or printer rather than placing everything within easy reach
- Use an exercise ball for a chair. Unlike sitting in a regular chair, the exercise ball engages core muscles and helps improve balance and flexibility. Occasional bouncing can also help your body interact with gravity to a greater degree than sitting on a stationary chair.
- Alternatively, use an upright wooden chair with no armrest. This will force you to sit up straight and encourage shifting your body more frequently than on a cushy office chair.
- Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up and move about for at least 2-10 minutes per hour, like walking, standing, or doing some”figet” exercises by your desk
“Go Ahead and Fidget” by Dr. Mercola
“Figeting Is Good for You” – Mother Nature Network
“Figeting In Your Seat May Reverse the Effects of Sitting for Long Periods” by Katherine Scott
“Always Figeting at Your Desk? Restlessness at Work Can Save Your Life” — UK Express