So now that you have a real job, you’re probably getting less exercise, right? You used to wait tables at a restaurant downtown, constantly moving around on your feet and getting some form of daily exercise. But alas, you succumbed to the dream of a salary based income and now you sit in a computer chair for the majority of your day. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common concern for computer users but not many people consider the risk of forming blood clots due to inactivity. Simple exercises can help prevent blood clots, avoid carpal tunnel syndrome and also keep you more alert throughout your day.
Work the arms (fig. 1)
I make a habit of regularly pressing my fingers against the edge of my desk and slowly stretching them back a few times (don’t forget your thumbs, too). Do it to the point that you feel it in your forearms. I also regularly roll my shoulders, wrists, and ankles around in circles several times and then I do it again in the opposite direction. These exercises will help stimulate blood flow and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from developing in your wrists.
Work the legs (fig. 2)
Sit up straight in your chair and stretch out your legs so they are pointing straight forward. After holding that position for a short time, slowly point your toes back towards you as far as you can to feel that burn in your calf muscles. Now do it in the opposite direction. Again, you are stimulating blood flow, staying alert and looking cool while doing it.
Work the abs (fig. 3)
While you’re typing or taking a phone call, sit up straight and flex your abdominal muscles and hold it there for 5-10 seconds and then release. Repeat this several times and remember to breathe while doing so. Controlled breathing or just a deep breathe every now and then will bring a good flow of oxygen back into your body, which translates into better blood flow, alertness and stress relief.
It all comes down to maintaining a healthy level of blood circulation, so getting up and walking around isn’t a bad idea either. If you just sit in a chair all day and don’t make many movements, you will eventually run more of a risk of dealing with blood clots and what is all of that hard earned money good for if you’re just going to spend it on doctor bills?