Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk

Move a little throughout the day to feel better

For many adults, work includes sitting most of the time. According to the Mayo Clinic, long stretches of sitting aren’t the greatest for your health.

In addition to integrating ways to amp up workweek activity, try some simple exercises at your desk. These options make use of objects you likely already have in your office, and won’t leave you out of breath if an unexpected phone call comes in.

Tone triceps

Use the heaviest book you have at work and stand up. Hold the book behind your head, then extend your arms up so the book is over your head. Repeat lifting the book to work the back of your arms.  

Improve posture

Take a break from hunching over your desk and stand up. Pretend to pin something between your shoulders by squeezing shoulder blades together for a few seconds. Release and repeat.

Tone glutes

Although sitting all day isn’t the best, repeating the sitting motion is. Stand in front of your office chair. Lower yourself down until your butt just touches the edge of the chair, then stand back up. Repeat and get a workout in your glutes.

Tone lower legs

Using the back of your office chair for balance, stand with feet together, then raise up onto your tip-toes and hold the position for a few seconds. Release and repeat to work your calf muscles.

Strengthen legs

You can even exercise from a seated position. While sitting, straighten your leg to be parallel with the floor and hold for a few seconds. Lower it almost to the floor and hold for a few seconds. Repeat on each leg.

Stretch back

A combination of strength and stretching work can help, too. While sitting in a roller chair, grab your desk and slowly push yourself (and your chair) back until your head is between arms and you’re looking at the floor. Then slowly pull yourself back towards the desk, and an upright position. Repeat.

Stretch neck

Start by sitting tall. Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder and hold for a few seconds. Repeat on the left side. Or, turn your head left and look over your shoulder—hold for a few seconds. Repeat on the right side.

When you can’t get away from your desk, these small movements throughout the day can help your body feel better and keep your mind focused—give them all a try!