How to Exercise at Your Desk


Deskercise, how to exercise at your desk

By now, you probably realize that sitting down at a desk all day isn’t good for your health. High blood pressure, obesity, and increased risk of stroke are just a few of the effects of chronic  inactivity. Knowing about the risks is one thing, but changing your lifestyle can be more difficult. And if you’re like the average worker, changing careers isn’t really an option. That’s why it’s becoming more and more common to stay active any way and anywhere that you can. It’s not quite exercise, it’s not quite “sitting at your desk”: it’s “deskercise!”


Here are some “deskercises” to keep in mind when you’re stuck at the office.


Leg extensions. If you aren’t able to stand up and take a walk, this might be the next best thing.


  • Sit up straight
  • Keep your core engaged
  • Extend one leg until level with your hip
  • Hold for 10 seconds or as long as you can
  • Repeat 15 times
  • Change leg


Chair squats. These are great for when you are standing up to leave or sitting back down to work.

  • Keep good posture
  • Sit down to about an inch away from the seat of chair
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Return to standing position


Heel raises. These are probably the simplest exercise you can do at your desk, so there’s no excuse not to try them! Great for getting blood flow back into your legs during long work sessions.

  • Raise heel off the floor about 3 inches
  • In a smooth motion, bring back down
  • Repeat 20-30 times on each heel


The Magic Carpet. If you’re fortunate enough to have armrests on your chair, they will come in handy for this exercise.

  • Cross legs and place feet on the seat
  • Place hands on the armrests
  • Keeping your back straight and your core engaged, lift up off of the seat with your arms
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat 3 times


Shoulder stretch. Great for improving flexibility.

  • While sitting, lift your right arm up toward the ceiling
  • Bring your left hand behind your back, between your shoulder blades, palm out
  • Reaching down with your right hand, grasp your left hand
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Change sides


Although getting up from your desk and exercising is always the best thing you can do for your body, these simple “deskercises” might help get you through your day without feeling completely inactive. Get started with these, then try to come up with some of your own! The key is to get your blood moving and your body engaged.