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Home » Desk Exercises – Staying Healthy at Work
March 8, 2018

Desk Exercises – Staying Healthy at Work

Desk Exercises – Staying Healthy at Work

Sitting for extended periods of time is detrimental to your health. If you are working at a desk all day, it is easy to get immersed in what you are doing and stay too stationary.  Health experts urge us to move more and sit less, but how can you accomplish this without losing any productivity?

Too much sitting will slow down our metabolism, increase the risk for obesity and causes problems with circulation, especially in the feet. The average office worker is at their desk for eight hours per day. The more you move, the better your health will be. 

Walk More

close up of somebody's feet as they are walking

Just by finding ways to take extra steps during the day, you can improve your health. Instead of taking a close parking spot, take one further away and walk. You can also skip the elevator and take the stairs if your office is not on the ground floor.

Do you need to discuss something with a co-worker? Skip the email and walk over to their desk instead. You can also keep a pair of walking shoes in the office and use part of your lunch break to take a walk. To avoid getting bored, alter your walking route.  Going down the street to pick up lunch? Why not walk instead of drive for short distances?


Here are some easy stretches to get your blood flowing from sitting in the same position for too long.

·         Shoulder Rolls – Sit with your feet flat on the floor and roll your shoulders clockwise five times and then counterclockwise five times.

·         Stand at your desk and use it for support, then stand on your tip toes for 10 seconds and return to standing normally. Repeat 10 times.

·         While seated, stretch your arms out to the sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together and with your palms down, make circles with both arms at the same time. Do this fifteen times and then circle your arms the other way fifteen times.

·         Stretch both arms over your head, one at a time and then again with your fingers interlaced over your head.

Raise your Heartbeat

Mini cardio workouts are great for office workers. If you are in a cubicle, look for an empty office, conference room, or even use the hallway if you prefer to not do these in your cubicle. However, this is about your health, and who knows, maybe your coworkers would like to join in if they see you doing it.

·         Take the stairs – even if you don’t need to go up or down a floor for any reason, just take the stairs, walking briskly and go up and down a few times.

·         Fast walk up and down the hallway or around the office.

·         March in place or jog in place for one minute.

·         Tap your feet quickly on the floor while seated for 30 seconds and then repeat this 5 times.

·         Pedal your legs like you are riding a bike for one minute and repeat 5 times.

Mini-Strength Workouts

·         Using a water bottle for a weight, stand up with your arms down at your sides and then bend upwards while holding the water bottle. Do 10 sets for each arm.

·         Do fifteen squats at your desk.

·         Put a ball or small box between your ankles and then lift your legs straight while holding the ball or box in place. Hold for 30 seconds then lower legs. Repeat this several times.

You can buy resistance bands, which are portable and will store easily in a desk drawer. Several companies make small stepping machines or under the desk peddlers, which can be used at the desk during a break or at lunch. These are great ways to make sure that you are getting extra activity.

The bottom line is that it benefits your health to try to take a few minutes to get up and move for every hour that you are sitting stationary at a desk. You can find numerous reminder programs to use online or in the app stores and many fitness trackers have a reminder feature to help remind users to get up and move around. Regular breaks to move or stretch will help improve focus, concentration and give you a boost of energy. 


woman sitting at laptop with her head in her hand

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