Thursday, September 13, 2012

Writers On The Move...Literally!

According to an article in Yahoo Finance, “ Just two hours of sitting reduces good cholesterol by 20 percent, reduces blood flow and raises blood sugar, all of which contribute to obesity and the related chronic, life-shortening diseases.” Well that's not good news for writers, who frequently spend well over two hours sitting while they write. While our words take on a life of their own, we're cutting ours short. What's a scribe to do? Exercise, that's what!

I hear everyone groaning about how there's no time or you hate exercise. I hear you. I agree with you. But I don't want to get sick and die early because I refused to move my butt out of the chair. So I'm giving you a few exercises you can do from the very place you create your prose and poetry. You can thank me later.


In a seated position with both feet flat on the floor, raise both hands high over your head. Grab your left wrist with your right hand and then gently pull the left wrist toward the right side of your body for as far as you are able. Hold the position for a count of at least three, and then return to the starting point. Switch hands and repeat for the other side of the body.  Read more

Sit up tall in your chair, with arms by your side, your back and shoulders straight, and your abdominal muscles engaged. Extend your legs straight in front of you so that they are parallel to the floor. Lower your legs until they are about a foot from the floor and then raise them toward the ceiling, stopping at the height of your chair arm rests. Lower again and repeat for a total of 10 repetitions. Read more

Sit up tall with your feet flat on the floor, and cross your arms in front of your chest. Engage your abdominal muscles and lower your head toward your knees, crunching your abs on the downward movement. Sit back up to starting position and repeat for a total of 10 to 15 repetitions. Read more 

Do a football-like drill of running in place for 60 seconds. Get those knees up! (Beginners, march in place.)

Simulate jumping rope for a minute: Hop on alternate feet, or on both feet at once. An easier version is to simulate the arm motion of turning a rope, while alternately tapping the toes of each leg in front.

Do one-legged squats (hold onto a wall or table for support) while waiting for a web page to load

To stretch your back and strengthen your biceps, place your hands on the desk and hang on. Slowly 
push your chair back until your head is between your arms and you're looking at the floor. Then 
slowly pull yourself back in. Do 15 times.

Stretch your arms back as if you were trying to grab a pencil between your shoulder blades

Touch your ear to your shoulder and hold it there

Stand at your desk, and, arms straight, place your palms on the desk with your fingers pointed toward you. Lower your body slowly until you feel the stretch (you won’t have to go far). Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat as needed through the day.

These are just few ways to “get moving” without really leaving your desk. You are still close to your work. You haven't spent a lot of time, but you got moving. That's the important part. Let's do what we can to combat the sedentary lifestyle of a writer and help keep ourselves healthy.

How about you? Do you have any exercises you do at your desk?

About the Author:

Marietta "Mari" Taylor is the the author of Surviving Unemployment Devotions To Go. She's also a monthly contributor to the Pearl Girls Blog. Find out more about Mari at her blog or her website,


D. Jean Quarles said...

Great post! You're right, I often find myself sitting way too long. Thanks for the great ideas.

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'll need to take my own advice. I'm notorious for the same thing :)

Heidiwriter said...

That is such good advice. I tend to concentrate so hard that I give myself huge neck and shoulder problems! I used to set a timer in the kitchen for half-hour increments and I'd HAVE to get up to turn it off. I should start doing that again!

Magdalena Ball said...

Good exercises Mari. A little exercise is also really good for the work I find - that bloodflow goes to the brain!

Karen Cioffi said...

Mari, great tips. Wow, sitting does have its drawbacks. I'm like Heidi and get way too involved. I'll look at the clock and hours have passed. I need to take more frequent breaks and get some exercise in each break, even if it's just walking for five minutes.

And, as Maggie mentioned exercise definitely helps the brain.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great tips. I'll mix a match a few of the excercise.

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