Desk exercises for your busy office life

Desk exercises for your busy office life

It’s not easy to stay healthy while working in an office – almost every aspect is bad for your health.

Exercise seems like a no-brainer to combat this – but how can you do that when you’ve got work to do all day?

Turns out there’s loads you can do right at your desk. Read on to see a handful of my preferred exercises.


The simplest thing you can do is stretch. At the very least, you can alleviate the back, shoulder, neck, and various other aches and pains that come with sitting at your computer.

One of the first aches you feel is in your lower back.

Try doing this stretch periodically at your desk:

  1. Put your hands on your lower back, palms down, with your thumbs facing outward.
  2. With your elbows straight back, push your chest toward the ceiling.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds, then relax; repeat a few times.

Along with loosening up your back, you’ll want to keep your neck stretched as well.

One neck stretch is incredibly simple:

  1. Sit up straight, then tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder; hold for a few seconds.
  2. Repeat for the left side.
  3. Do both sides a few more times.

This should help with moderate tightness in your neck and back, but if your pain is more severe, consider replacing your chair or getting an adjustable monitor arm if you don’t have these already.

Desk exercises

Your office furniture can actually work to your advantage as you try to be more active during the workday.

For example, triceps dips require an elevated surface to be pushing off – such as a desk:

  1. Put your hands behind you on your desk, shoulder-width apart.
  2. With your legs in front of you, have your butt hovering just in front of the desk.
  3. Lower yourself until your elbows are almost 90 degrees, then raise yourself back up.
  4. Repeat 10-12 times, and do a few sets throughout the day.

Sitting or standing, it’s always important to keep your legs loose.

In this case, your chair is, for once, your friend. Try this exercise:

  1. While sitting in your chair, place your hands on one leg.
  2. Lift said leg from your hip flexor and straighten it completely.
  3. Flex your upper leg (your quadriceps) and hold it for 10-15 seconds.
  4. Lower your leg, and repeat the same process with the other.

Cardio and other exercises

If you really want to kick your office health up a notch, you can do cardio and strength exercises right in your workspace

Jogging or running in place is as easy as it seems. Do it for 30 seconds at a time, and for a better workout do it as part of a set of 3-5 rounds.

Pushups are among the best exercises; they can be done anywhere. If you can’t do full pushups, doing them off your knees is still getting you active and working your chest muscles.

And squats are wonderful for your legs and glutes. Either do them by going from a squatting to a standing position, or even just sit in your chair and repeatedly stand up (without using your arms, of course).

Just get on your feet – any way you can

Maybe you feel silly doing stretches, or you can’t keep up with a bunch of exercises every day.

That’s fine, as long as you can do the most important exercise of all – standing as often as possible.

Does that mean finally taking the plunge for a standing or adjustable desk? Ideally, yes, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Just getting up to walk for a few minutes every hour can add up over the course of an 8-hour day – even more so over the course of an entire week, and beyond.

Any route you can take to break up the rampant and detrimental sitting of your office job will noticeably improve your health and well-being.

As you can see, there are always exercises you can do without ever having to leave your desk – and there are plenty more besides what I’ve covered here.

The bottom line, though, is that it’s vital to get up and move around as much as you possibly can.

Author: Isaac spends many hours at his desk with his team. Over the years he’s been perfecting exercises to keep him both productive and heathy, find out more about him by getting in touch on his company website.



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