A Day In The Life #3: My Workday Exercise Tricks - Save Our Bones

Remember the old Yellow Pages slogan, “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking?”

Well let me tell you, my fingers do a lot of “walking” – sometimes even more than my legs do. You see, I spend long hours in front of my computer, which means I also spend a lot of time sitting down.

Now I know I’m not the only one. Spending too much time sitting – and sometimes slouching – on chairs is detrimental for our bone and overall health.

Even if we exercise every day, even if we go for long walks, uninterrupted sitting and immobility can hinder our bone-building efforts. We're designed for movement, so the idea is to get off the chair as often as possible to move around for a few minutes… to get the blood circulating and to use our muscles. Here are the ‘tricks' I use throughout my work day to get up off my chair and keep me moving:

My Water Trick

This is one of my favorite tricks to keep me moving during my workday: I leave my glass of water far away from my desk, so I'm forced to get up to get it every time I want a drink. And I don’t just walk to it – I do lunges and stretches as I walk.

This ensures that I get up and keep my blood flowing throughout the day.

Standing and stretching are great ways to interrupt a long sitting session. Here are some of the stretches I do:

Native Squats

A few times a day I also practice Native Squats. They're a great way to stretch the tight hip muscles. The trick is to make sure you keep your heels flat on the ground and your knees spread wide. You’ll immediately feel the beneficial hip stretch. If you’ve never done them before, always hold on to something at the beginning till you get the hang of it.

Native Squatting is a more natural position than sitting, but we have “forgotten” this. Children can squat without any problems… until they start sitting on chairs. Talking about chairs, it is important to maintain a good posture while sitting down, so as not to weaken and hurt the the back muscles. Here's a video that demonstrates the proper squatting posture:

NOTICE: Please check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.

Wrist Stretch

Here’s one more trick to prevent arm and hand pain caused by computer use. Watch this great demonstration of my favorite hand stretch:

NOTICE: Please check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.

If you don’t work, if you work from home, or if you have your own private office, you can get started right away and get those muscles moving. Otherwise, why not start your own “Movers and Stretchers” group at work? Let me know how that goes…

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Pat

    How can I get the recipe book Bone Appite

  2. Diane. O'Neill

    Squats are a great form of exercise if performed correctly, my understanding is that when performing a squat your knees should not extend past your toes and your butt should be parallel to the floor so as not to create too much stress on the knees.

  3. Pam

    I am 65 yrs old and have fractures in my thorasic spine. My doctor tells me I can’t do weights anymore and because of bad hips I can’t walk for health, just to do my chores. My doctor is trying to frighten me in to taking osterporosis drugs, but I am holding out and using your ph diet. What exercises would be suitable for me to do, and what should I not do in order to protect myself from more fractures? I babysit grandsons, and work in my garden. I am following your diet very carefully, but can’t take many of the supplements, but I do take organic calcium.

  4. Muggie

    Thanks for the exercise tips.

    I am taught at gym to stand on the bottom stair and hold onto the rail, let the outside leg drop and move out sideways and back for up to two minutes and repeat with other leg. Supposed to be good for hips. Perhaps Vivian would confirm if this is the case.

  5. Claire Goldenberg

    I forget the name of the calcium Vivian recommended. (I know it was organic, from Algae). There was an address where to order it as well.

    Can you please send me this information. Thank you.

  6. Lynne

    I am 61, have constant pain, very lower disc bulge, just minimal bone degeneration, and bone loss, love to walk.. Looking for some easy exercise to strengthen my core. Physio therapist gave me the keigel , but that does not seem to help.. I take vit d plus calcium and magnesium.. Any suggestions for diet? Thank you for your time..

  7. Diana

    Last week I was rugby-tackled by a curtain cord. It held both feet fast and I went down like a felled oak trunk. Thunk. Mostly landed on my right knee, but to my pride and boastful joy my entire knee and to the bottom of my leg is black and blue. BUT although the stairs going down were a bit tricky the first night, I have done my three exercise classes this week (with dumbbells – resistance) squats etc, although with squats not as low as the native squat, being 71 years old). I just want to say, if you’re fit for your age, you really do recover well and I can’t wait to get the book I ordered from you Vivian!! Thanks for your tips and comments in this conversation and in your emails. Your’e a star! xx

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sorry to hear about your fall, Diana, but it’s great to hear that you were able to recover so quickly. You’re absolutely right — age is just a number, and you can be fit and bone healthy at any age.

  8. Bonnie

    Hi Vivian:
    I was just
    reading about a product called OsteoSine™ . I was wondering if you know anything about this product and if it is a good product.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Bonnie, We don’t have the resources to research and review every supplement out there – there are just too many. But I took a quick look, and OsteoSine appears to contain a decent mix of nutrients, including chelated calcium, which is an acceptable alternative to organic calcium.

  9. Denise Sanders

    Thank you Vivian for sharing this information. The native squat position feels great! Blessings, Denise

  10. Judy Vollmer

    I have been on the program for almost two years. Feell great. But my only problem is I can’t seem to gain weight with these healthy foods. An this is a problem, because I do have osteoporosis in my spine & hips. Any suggestions?

    • Joan

      Hi Judy I can relate to that I am only on the program about 4 months.I have olso lost weight feel very well but would like to gain some weight i have tried Vivians comment but it dose not seem to work for me i eat avacodo, nuts,the lot to try and put on weight it might be the excerese that is keeping it low don’t know,would have loving to be a big person starting this program.The best of health to you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Judy,

      There’s such a wide variety of foods you can eat on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program (and no limit to the amount you can eat) that it should be easy to adjust for either weight loss or weight gain. You can add more complex carbs that pack calories, such as bananas, grapes, alkalizing beans, green peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes with peel, etc. And you can up the calories of the acidifying foods. For example, replacing chicken with beef.

      What also helps is having multiple snacks throughout the day.

      If that doesn’t do it for you, you could try switching to a 70/30 alkaline/acid balance, so as to increase consumption of higher calorie foods (pasta, brown rice, bread, etc.).

  11. Elaine Schaeffer

    I just received and email from al sears that you had on here sometime back. Today it was about coq10. He says accel pure liquid ubiquinol coq10 soft gel 50 mg water soluble is the best one to take.
    I use spring valley q-sorb co q-10 30 soft gel 50 mg as your book suggested it also has the 5 iu of vit e as you suggested. i read same info on a info sheet for my brother that has found just recently he has parkenson. so just wondering what the difference is and if over the counter that i have is a waste of time. Thank you, I am as healthy as ever.

  12. Ellen Law

    Dear Vivian,

    I will be 92 years old in November and cannot believe what has happened since I discovered you and your book. In 2008 my bone density was -4.3; in 2010 it was -4.1 difference. This was from taking Fosamax.
    When I discovered you about 6 or 7 months ago, I told my doctor I was through with Fosamax and going with your program.

    On June 6 I asked for another test to see if it was working and I am so hapy to tell you that my one number went from -4.1 to -3.7 and the T(?)number went from -3.0 to -2.1. This is only a few months time which I think is great. I am also walking my dog about 40 minutes a day and go to the gym with a personal trainer twice a week. However, I was doing that before I discovered you!
    So THANK YOU VERY MUCH for my improvement.
    Ellen Law

  13. norah connolly

    Vivian, I find the inversion trac is excellent for my spine. I use it every day for 15 mins. Maybe some other people might like to try it.

    • patty wurts

      What is the inversion trac

  14. veronica tan

    the exeracises are good only if you do them daily and consistently

  15. Shula

    Thank you, Vivian, for the exercises ideas, i always like the simple ones. Hope you have more of them.

  16. Nancy Roth

    Many thanks for keeping me up to date on your research. Appreciate it very much. Nancy

  17. mary t ball

    thank u vivian for such helpful advice and the exercises.


  18. Connie

    Thank you very much for all these helpful information. These exercise video is really good. We do it three times a week with our exercise program. But I think we have to do it more often at home. I think the problem is that,it is more comfortable sitting slouch in the sofa watching TV. I need to do more squatting, stretching and balancing while watching TV. Thanks again

  19. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,

    When I’m On My Computer All Day. I Get Up Several Times A Day To: 1. Put Dirty Clothes In The Washer, 2. Go To The Bathroom, 3. Get Something To Eat And Drink, 4. Take Clothes Out Of The Washer And Put Them In The Drier,
    5. Take Clothes Out Of The Drier And Fold Them, And Put Them Away, And Finally, 6. Go Out To Eat, And Just Relax!

    Thank You VERY MUCH AGAIN For SHARING Your Article With Us!

    LOVE, MS. L.

  20. Jackie Waite

    I use my exercise ball to sit on at my desk. I love to bounce when I’m talking on the phone. There are so many great uses for an exercise ball such as holding on to it when I do squats. They’re not expensive and great for developing our balance. Thanks again Vivian for all your great info.

    • Sharon

      Exercise Balls are great. I love mine too. It works well for me in front of my computer. It’s always moving, rolling a bit, or bouncing a little. Makes a hugh difference. And I have to get up frequently to get water, or just do something else, or answer the door. The movements on the ball pull on the hips, ribs, neck, all-over-back, as well as the knees and ankles. The only thing I tell people about it is to be careful not to lose their balance and roll off.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Exercise balls are great, Jackie! Even when you’re not bouncing, you’re constantly using intrinsic muscles just to stay balanced on the ball. Great idea! 🙂

  21. Cheryl

    Thanks for the exercise tips, Vivian. My back’s been bothering me lately and I think it’s because of leaning forward too much at the computer. Your information about self-care and eating right are always helpful and appreciated.

  22. Pat Boyd

    Thank you, Thank You Vivian,
    I got on your program 2 years ago after finding out about my bone density. I just got my bone density and I have improved 16% in my hips and 2% in my spine total. I feel if I can do it, anyone can. I admit I cheated some on the weekends. I like the way I eat so much, I will never go back to eating processed foods.I feel so much better health wise, now it is part of my life. Vivian you are a life savior. I hope everyone will do the program and I know you will get great results.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing your success story, Pat! I’m so happy for you… Isn’t it fantastic how once we apply common-sense principles to our every day life, it’s so easy to stay healthy and see positive results?

  23. Joyce Pervier

    Today I began taking arimidex (didn’t want to and have put it off for four months after reading so
    many negative things about side effects. In March I had a lumpectomy (stage one, clean margins, clear
    lymph nodes) and was told women over 70 no longer need radiation (I am 79 – in four weeks). Has anyone else had experiences with this medication. When I mentioned side effects to the oncologist I was told “we can give you something for that if it
    occurs.” Does it make sense to take one medication and then additional ones to counteract
    effects.I have osteopenia but exercise, take calcium with D, healthy diet, and went off of
    Fosamax as soon as the first negative publicity
    hit the press.

    • Janine

      I am health conscious. When you start having lumps, the homeopath recommends alkaline diet to get rid of all cancer cells in your system. You can also go for oxygen therapy to speed up the detox process. Avoid for good if you can processed foods, junk foods and sugar because cancer feeds on sugar.

  24. Carolyn

    Thank you Vivian, for all you do to provide a better alternative to risky meds! I was told five years ago that my lower spine was so bad that I could fracture it by sneezing the wrong way, and of course, the Dr. prescribed daily shots. I found you on the internet while looking for alternatives, and have never looked back! Walking 3-4 miles a day and watching my diet. Thank you! Thank you!

  25. phyllis Falkenstein

    I need to regain to be limber again. going to PT to regain my balance as i am tipp y and use a cane now

  26. phyllis Falkenstein

    it is worth a try.

  27. Maureen Cooper

    What appropriate timing this message has for me. My tail-bone is permanently sore and I have worked out that it is because I sit too much, and slouch while I sit, so my weight rests on my tail bone rather than my thighs. I had just decided I need to become more active but wasn’t sure what to do.

    Many thanks, Maureen

  28. Nu Ly

    I am the retiree play computer just for fun.

  29. Jo Marie

    THank you for all the great advice that you continually send and I intend to buy the progamme as soon as I can afford to

  30. Theodoros

    Thank you Vivian for your workday Exercise Tricks.I believe that in sitting days we spend every day are very usefull and nesessaries.

  31. Feona

    Thanks for reminding us, Vivian. I’ve done computer exercises for years, but recently injured my knee which has temporarily prevented me walking for more than a few minutes at a time. You’ve reminded me that there’s nothing to stop me walking up and down the long room I work in – can’t do the lunges or squats yet, though!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Walking’s great, Feona! Getting up and out of your chair on a frequent basis is the important thing. 🙂

  32. irene karas

    I appreciate all the e,mails. My mother is 86
    and had a DXA scan which revealed she is high
    rish for fracture. She did have surgery andradiation in 2010 for a non-cancerous tumor. She now uses a cane . We look for simple exercises. She does have a script for
    physical therapy. Lunges are not something she can do. She does walk and does simple exercises

    • Carole

      Hi Irene,
      Maybe your mum could try gentle exercises such as while sitting she could try to walk her bottom from the back of her chair to the front. Also she can do arm raises out to the side and above her head and down again. If she can stand and hold onto a strong chair or something she could try lifting one foot out to her side and back, and then the other foot in the same way but always holding onto something solid which will not move. Repeat all of these only as long as comfortable, maybe five or working up to eight times each. Maybe two to start?
      She could try the wrist exercises also without pulling with her other hand as this can keep her flexible without straining her bones. Also try rotating her wrists one at a time, or use a squeeze ball to strengthen her grip.
      I hope this helps.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Those are all excellent suggestions, Carole. And Irene, if your mom does a lot of sitting, getting up at regular intervals and walking around the room would be a great start. The main idea is just to get moving, at whatever level works for you. 🙂

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