The Best Exercises to Do at Your Desk, According to Fitness Pros

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Let’s get real: sitting with perfect posture is tough work.

We’re talking about keeping the spine straight, the vertebrae and pelvis stacked on top of each other … keeping your abs slightly squeezed with your shoulders rolled back and down, away from your ears. It’s a lot to think about. Since holding perfect sitting posture requires quite a bit of muscle endurance and mental space, it’s challenging to maintain for 10-15 minutes let alone eight hours.

As the work day progresses, we slip into slouch-mode, over-stressing certain muscles and compromising our shoulder, hip, and back health. You might feel tight, sore, and even foggy after a long desk-bound day. In fact, some studies suggest that sitting for prolonged periods can decrease blood flow to the brain, reducing your mental productivity. What’s more, doctors have found that a sedentary lifestyle can put you at risk for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and obesity.

The reality is sometimes we can’t avoid sitting for hours. So the key, according to queer certified personal trainer Anna Claire Loper, is to do exercises that counteract the negative effects that come with being on your keister for too long.

“I’m not going to be able to convince my clients to stop sitting,” she says. “I can, however, coach the importance of breathing, and program strength exercises for those under-active and weak muscles — typically, the lats, core, glutes, and hamstrings.”

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