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Best Exercises To Do At Your Desk: Get Fit At Your Work

Are you tired of your sedentary lifestyle or sitting still at your desk at your workstation? Do you feel you actually need to have some of the exercises that can be done at your desk? It’s true that today we all spend lots of time at our desk and lack any physical activity. This can actually result in a lot of health issues, such as heart diseases, risk of diabetes, loss of bone and muscle strength and so on.

As per the WHO or the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 3.2 million deaths could be attributed because of lack of physical activity.(1) Isn’t it really a big reason to worry? Well, if you need to improve your health and keep away from unwanted diseases and ill health conditions that might occur because of too much sitting then you definitely need to read on the article where we will discuss about some of the best exercises to do at your desk.

Best Exercises To Do At Your Work: Get Fit At Your Work

As per the National Center For Chronic Disease Prevention And Health Promotion, it is found that nearly 50% of adults in the United States admit that they do not engage in the recommended 30 minutes, 5 days in a week of moderate physical activity or even the 20 minutes, thrice in a week of vigorous activity. It can be said in short that about 50% of Americans do not get the real physical exercise that they actually require.(2)

However, there are some exercises which can be done right at the desk and thus help you in improving the flexibility of your body and also improve your strength, and these can be done right at your desk even at your work!

Reach For The Stars:

Keep your palms facing towards the ceiling and interlock your fingers and reach up towards the ceiling, as high as possible.


Shrugs could also be done at your desk. For this you need to raise both your shoulders up towards both the eat’s and hold on for a few seconds and then release. Repeating this for a few times could be beneficial.

Rubber Neck Stretch:

For doing this exercise at your desk you need to sit up straight and bring your right ear towards the right shoulders without actually touching it and hold on this position for some seconds and then repeat the same on the left side.

Chest Opener:

This is something very simple to perform at your desk. For doing this you need to get both your hands behind your back, press your palms together, sit absolutely tall and hold for 10 seconds.

Reach and Bend:

Reach and bend is another exercise that can be done at your desk. Simply extend your right arm over your head and then reach out as far as possible towards the left and then bend over gently. Hold on this position for few seconds and then do it with the other side.

Knee Press:

Knee press is a type of stretch that stretches out the glutes. With your right ankle on the left knee, press gently against the right knee for a few times. Once you are done with the right side, do the same with your left side too.

Football Fast Feet:

For doing this exercise at your desk you need to simply sit in the chair of your desk by keeping your feet flat on the ground. Now, you need to tap your feet in place rapidly as if you are doing when you are running in place. Continue this for 30 seconds, pause and then do it for more 30 seconds. Do this in every 30 minutes at your desk. This would bring up your heart rate without any sweat.

The Hovering Leg Raise:

The hovering leg raise is another exercise that can be done at the desk while at your work. For this you need to sit straight on your desk chair and raise both your legs so that they remain parallel to the ground. Slowly lower the legs until they are hovering just 1 or 2 inch above the ground. Now hold this position for as long as possible and then release the posture.

The Swiveling Abs:

The swiveling abs could be a great abs workout that can also be done at your desk. Sit upright on your swivel chair and start lifting your feet off the floor. Lightly hold on to your desk with your fingers; however make sure that your arms and your hands are not doing any work here, as it should all be the work of your core oblique abdominals here. Use the abs and also the rest of your core so as to swivel the desk chair from left to right and back again. You need to do 15 reps in 3 cycles for best results.

Shadow Boxing:

Among all the best exercises to do at your desk, is the shadow boxing. This exercise increases your heart rate and also brings some cardio; and it is even a great exercise to release stress in case you have had a frustrating or hectic day.

For doing this, you need to raise up your fists right in front of your face in the boxing position, while you are at your desk chair. You need to be sure that you are sitting at a safe distance away from the computer. Now, punch your fist forward in the air, just like you would be doing with a punching bag, switching back and forth from your right arm to the left one. Do this at least for 30 seconds and then pause and again do the same for 30 seconds. Do this several times in scheduled intervals at your work.

Chair Dips:

You need your chair for doing chair dips. Scoot up to the front edge of the chair, place your hands on either side of the hips while fingers pointing towards the desk, and place your legs in front of you. Grasp the edges of your desk chair and make use of your core and your arms to raise your body upyou’re your chair and then go down so that your rear goes towards the floor. Again, push yourself back up and repeat the same for 15 times. Do the same for 3 cycles.

The Leaning Plank:

The leaning plank is an exercise that requires you to get up from the chair of your desk. This is actually a variant on a plank exercise, and uses a very similar form. Step back so that you remain at least one foot away from a wall and then lean forward against the wall by using your forearms for support. Now, hold this posture as long as possible by you. Repeat it 15 times.


Push-ups could also be done at your desk while at your work. You can do push-ups on the wall or on the desk’s edge. Do 10 repetitions and do it 3 times in a day at your work.

Walk Or Jog or Run In Place:

This is a simple exercise that can be done standing near your desk. Simply stand up and walk, job, or run in the place. You need to do this for 30-45 seconds and at least 3-5 times at work. For adding a bigger challenge to it, you can try and bring your knees up to your waist level as you walk, job or run in place.

Calf Raise:

For doing calf raise simply stand behind your chair and hold it on for support. Raise your heels from the floor until you are just standing on your toes. Now, slowly lower yourself right back to the floor. Repeat this at least 10 times and do 3 such sets.

Glute Squeeze:

Glute squeeze is an isometric move that can be done at your desk while you are at your work. Simply squeeze your glutes as hard as possible by you and hold for about 30 seconds.

Shoulder Press:

Shoulder press could also be done at your desk while at work. Just find a ream of paper or any old book that would weigh a few pounds and hold it at your shoulder height and then raise it overhead. Do, 10 such repetitions and do it 3 times.


You can do lunges at your desk. Doing this exercise would require you to simply place your one leg in front of the other leg and lower the knees of the back leg down towards the ground. Do this 10 times on each leg.

Pretend Jump Rope:

You can do this just near your desk. Simply hop on your feet at once or alternate. You need to increase your intensity by adding the arm movements that you would be doing if you had a jumping rope. So, here you are just pretending the jump rope.

Final Thoughts:

We now have some exercises or tricks that can actually help you to enhance your health and keep you fit even when you are working at your desk for most of the hours in a week.

Apart from the exercises that we talked about here, it is also required that you get up from the desk at least once in every hour and take a five minutes of small walks inside your office that can reduce the negative effects of continuous sitting.


Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 18, 2020

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