Office Fitness Series: Lower body exercises you need to do if you sit all day

Devin Bayer on Lower Body Exercises

Lower body exercises you need to do if you sit all day 

Part 2:  Exercises to prevent blood clots at work

We’ve all had those days where deadlines are pressing, and a work day turns into 8 hours of sitting behind our computers. While we are sitting at our desks, we might not have the extra time to spare to consider our cardiovascular health in these situations.

Besides, when we think about exercising we often get stuck on the thought of training our muscles being the biggest health benefit. But the body is a complex system with many parts working simultaneously from fluid circulation (blood & lymph – for transport) or neuronal communication and activation with the nerves sending signals through our body to our muscles doing the mechanical work. 

When we’re in motion, blood doesn’t just circulate with the heart pumping it through our veins but also through muscle contraction – especially in those parts which are located in quite a distance to the heart like the legs and especially feet/calves. 

In plain words: We might not know that we are at risk of developing a blood clot in our legs when sitting excessively on a regular basis. When blood becomes stagnant, it is at a higher risk for clotting.

How to prevent thrombosis at work?

To prevent thrombosis working those calves (and legs in general) regularly is very important. The feet are the first point of interaction with the ground meaning that it provides the first sensory information the body gets which affects the positioning and engagement of the hip joint throughout the movement.

4 Simple exercises to prevent thrombosis at work

All exercises demonstrated in the videos can be integrate in your (home) office routine easily. 

Tipp: We recommend to train barefoot or in socks as much as possible. It allows our body to have a higher sensory input & feedback, and work better in relation to our evolutionary design.

1. Standing Heel Raises

A stretching exercise to strengthen the calf muscles which work with other powerful muscles around the knee and hip.

A study showed how a 6 month exercise training program improved calf muscle strength and pump function even in patients with deep venous thrombosis; and high levels of physical activity at one month tended to be associated with reduced severity of postthrombotic symptoms during the subsequent 3 months.

2. Foot Activation

Keeping your feet strong and flexible can help reduce foot and ankle pain, reduce muscle soreness, improve your overall foot health, and keep you active. Slow and gentle stretches will improve your flexibility.

3. Standing Toe Lifts

When lifting your toes you work your muscles in the lower leg, especially the tibialis anterior, which is located in the outer surface of the tibia, or shin.  This exercises improves your blood circulation and overall foot health.

4. Squats

The squat is a dynamic strength training exercise that requires several muscles in your upper and lower body to work together simultaneously. Many of these muscles help power you through daily tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, bending, or carrying heavy loads.

5. Hip Stretch 

All that sitting is robbing our hips of its capabilities and natural range of motion influencing our posture enormously which has effects on our overall performance.

Besides, the hips heavily influence the positioning and ‘stacking’ of our spine, thus working on our lower body will actually help us to get into an up right position more comfortably. 

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