Health and fitness

Seven desk exercises you can sneak in at work

Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best investments you can make. But that’s usually easier said than done for most people. After all, fitness can be a tricky thing to master when you’re sitting by a desk for hours on end several times a week.

The sad truth is a lot of us are stuck sitting at our workstations for too long. This could increase the risks of chronic health issues, like diabetes or heart disease. Additionally, whether you’re always in your workstation at home or in the office, you might be struggling with sneaking in an exercise or two. Fortunately, there’s a way to remedy that.

Enter desk exercises.


What are desk exercises?

As the term suggests, these are exercises you can do by your desk. They’re designed to help build strength and prevent muscle stiffness. Doing desk exercises in between breaks can also help improve your blood circulation. Not to mention that doing a little something for your fitness can also help make you feel less stressed.

How to get started

Now that you know what desk exercises are, you might be wondering what’s a good way to get started with them. Well, this article focuses on subtlety, so even office workers can do them without feeling too conscious. All you need is your chair and yourself.

Here’s a list of simple and subtle exercises you can do in the comfort of your workstation.

  1. High knees

Ideally, you need to be seated at the front of your chair. Next, lift one of your bent legs off the floor. Hold for three seconds and return to your original position.

Do the same routine on the other leg. Keep repeating for 30 seconds. This counts as one round. Do a total of three rounds, and remember to take a break in between each one.


  1. Jog in place

This exercise mimics the motions you would do during an actual jog. Move your arms back and forth. At the same time, lift one foot until only the balls of your foot are on the ground. Alternate between each foot.

You’ll notice that your arm and leg movements will start to sync. Do this for a total of 30 seconds per round. Just like before, do a total of three rounds and rest in between each one.


  1. Heel toe lift

Here’s another exercise that can work your leg muscles. Start by lifting your heels off the floor. Hold this position for two seconds. Next, lift your toes and hold the position for another two seconds.

Do 10 repetitions of these movements for a total of three rounds. Don’t forget to take a break in between each one.


  1. Leg extensions

Next, let’s focus on giving your knees some mobility and strengthening your quads. Slowly lift one leg, keeping your toes pointed up towards the desk.

Do the same movement on the other leg. Do these for a total of 10 repetitions. If you can, do these for three rounds. Again, take a break in between each one.


  1. Leg pulses

This desk exercise almost has the same movements as the previous one. Raise one leg towards the desk, but this time, make sure your thigh is lifted a few inches above your chair. Lower the leg to a neutral position, but not completely back on the ground.

Do a total of 10 repetitions before doing the same routine to your other leg. Complete a total of three rounds while taking breaks in between. This exercise will work your quads and hip flexors.


  1. Torso twist

If you are aiming to decompress your spine, then this is the perfect desk exercise for you. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and put one hand over the other in front of you. Then slowly twist your torso from one side to the other.

Do 10 repetitions of each move for a total of three rounds. Do this gently and safely. Remember to stay within your range of motion to prevent any injuries.


  1. Triceps stretch

Finally, let’s work on your arms! Lift one arm and bend it, making sure your hand is reaching for the opposite shoulder blade. Don’t worry if your fingers don’t actually reach it. The motion is all that matters. Next, use your other hand to gently pull the raised elbow toward your head.

Keep the position for two to three breaths. Repeat the routine on the other side.

Exercise Tips:

  • Always keep your core engaged during each exercise so that you can work that muscle group as well.
  • Remember that exercises should always be done with care.
  • If you feel anything odd or painful, consult your doctor.

Staying fit and healthy is a worthy goal to commit to so you can enjoy as much of life as you can, and exercise is a great way to start your fitness journey. 

And if you really want to invest in your health, why not get yourself insured so you can cover all the bases? A good health protection plan like Vibrant, Set for Health. or BIG 3 can give you a backup plan when illness strikes, alleviating some of the worries so you can focus on your health and recovery.

Have fun on your fitness journey!