Top Exercises to do at Your Desk


Just because you have to sit at your desk all day, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do office exercises at the same time and desk-ercising is a fantastic way to keep fit while being a desk-jockey!

Many of us find ourselves deskbound and inactive for large parts of the day and not only is this bad for our brains and our general wellbeing, it also has a detrimental effect on our health.

Having our bums glued to seats for hours every day is no doubt bad for you. Even if you are a Microsoft Office titleholder during the day and a dedicated gym bunny by night – recent studies show that this isn’t enough to negate the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

You need to keep moving throughout the day and there are lots of ways to keep fit while sitting at your desk. So, say goodbye to that bad back and those irritable achy legs, as we take you through some simple office exercises that are easy to do at work!


Stretch it out

Staying supple and bendy while at your desk will help to keep your blood pumping round your body and will make you feel fresh and good.

Here are some easy office exercises that you can do at your desk:

  • Shrug it out: Shrug your shoulders up and down and make sure you hold the shrug high for a few seconds before dropping down
  • Side to side: Look left, look right and then gently twist your neck to look as far over your shoulder behind you as you comfortably can
  • Sit tall: Place your left ear on your shoulder and hold for a few seconds, before doing the same on your right side
  • Move your head: Gently drop your chin as close to your chest as it goes, then slowly move your head from side to side
  • Stretch up: Reach for the stars with the palm of your hand facing upwards
  • Bend your knees: Bend one knee and slowly lift it up to your chestand hold it, before repeating with the other side
  • Move your glutes: Take your left ankle and place it on your right knee. Then slowly press on it and release a few times before switching sides

Stretching while at your desk is a simple and effective way to exercise at work and is a great way to move your body, without people questioning where you’ve been. 


Ditch the technology 

Instead of sending an email to Bill who sits a few desks behind you, get up and walk across the office and have a real-life conversation with your co-workers to cram in some extra exercise at work.

Technology makes it easy to be lazy. Put your smartphone down, get off WhatsApp, log out of your email and try speaking to your colleagues, instead of relying on your equipment to do all the arduous work for you.

How many more times a day you will get up off your seat if you had to speak to your workmates every time you need something?

A workout at work is more about keeping your body moving, rather than doing jumping Jacks in the middle of the office. 


Exercise all day long 

It’s easy to try and grab that parking spot closest to the doors and it’s very tempting to use your assistant whenever you need coffee but you can make a massive difference to your wellbeing if you try to cut corners less.

Here are a few ways to be more mobile before, after and during work:

  • Take the stairs when you need to use the toilet, instead of using the ones on your level
  • Park the car in the car park next door or at least aim for a space on the edge of the lot to increase your step count
  • When you answer the phone, do it standing up and wander around while you talk
  • Swap transport for your legs and try to either walk or bike into the office at least once a week
  • If you need to use transport to commute, try cutting out the final part of the journey and partially walk your way to the office

While these things may add a bit of time onto your day, your health is worth taking the time for


Leave your desk for lunch 

Don’t deny it, you know you’re guilty!

One common faux pas that many desk rats make is taking their lunch break at their desk, as it’s just way easier to stay sitting where you are while you munch on your kale salad. However, there’s little point in making the effort to eat healthily if you stay in the same position for hours and hours!

Instead of taking your lunch into work with you, try going for a walk to buy your food and always eat it away from your desk to help you to increase your exercise at work.

Head to a nearby park and grab a bench or better still, eat your lunch standing up to give your glutes a much-needed rest.


Get away from your desk 

While moving more when you are sitting at your desk is important, you should also try moving more when you take your breaks.

Use a meeting room to do a few exercises in your lunchtime. Put down that cigarette and use your five-minute break to workout at work and get your heart pumping faster.

Here are some handy ideas on some easy office exercises:

  • Squats
  • Raise your calves
  • Squeeze your glutes
  • Tricep dips
  • Jog on-the-spot
  • Push-ups
  • Lunges
  • Shoulder presses

All of these office exercises are simple to do with limited space, making them perfect for the office. We don’t expect you to suddenly drop and do 20 press-ups in the middle of the office by your desk, so find an empty room or a quiet space to use instead. 


Take a break every hour 

One of the best ways to combat the damaging effects of living a sedentary lifestyle is to get into the habit of taking a break every hour to move your body.

And before you say you can’t possibly do that - trust us, it really won’t take a long time!

Grab a few minutes every hour to stand up and move around. Go get a glass of water, a fresh cup of coffee or walk down the stairs to the toilet. You need to focus on moving around at work, to boost your health, trim your waistline and strengthen those glutes!

Try and be more aware about how long you are sitting still and just as you have a routine when you get into the office with switching your computer on and checking your emails – set up another routine where you take a break from those pesky Excel sheets and move for a few minutes, every hour.

Whether you stretch at your desk, walk to Bill for a catch up or head outside for your lunch, there’s loads of ways to enjoy getting fitter and healthier at work.

What are your favourite office exercises?



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