9 exercises you can do without leaving the office

We’re being told more often these days that we need to make a point of exercising. We’re spending more time in sedentary office jobs, and more time sitting down in those jobs, which isn’t great for our fitness and our health. A study published recently in The Lancet medical journal warned that office workers should be doing an hour of exercise outside their workplaces every day, just to offset the negative impact of sitting down for so long.

“A whole hour?!” we hear you cry. Admittedly, hitting the gym for an hour before or after work isn’t an achievable goal for everyone – at least, not every day. That’s why we’ve collected a series of exercises that you can do without even leaving your desk. OK, they’re no substitute for the real deal when it comes to working out, but every little really does help. Get more active at work with the following “deskercises.”

1. Desk press-up

We never said you wouldn’t attract attention while doing these exercises…

For the desk press-up, you’ll need to stand and step away from your computer. Put your hands on the edge of your desk and walk your feet backwards until your body is straight and at a 45-degree angle. See if you can do a dozen press-ups against your desk.

2. Book press

Got any heavy books lying around your office? Use them to your advantage. Grab the biggest book you can find, hold it in both hands behind your head, and then straighten your arms, extending them overhead. Bend your arms backwards and take the book behind your neck again, and repeat.

3. Shoulder blade squeezes

These are great for improving your posture. Simply imagine you’re trying to hold something between your shoulder blades. An invisible pencil, perhaps. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 10 seconds.

4. Chair squats

Do 15 of these every now and then to feel the burn in your soon-to-be toned thighs. Stand up straight and then lower yourself down towards your chair, stopping when you feel your legs brush the chair’s edge. Straighten to standing, and repeat.

5. Desk dips

Work your triceps with some desk dips in the office. Stand with your back to your desk and hold the desk’s edge with both hands. Start with arms and legs straight, bend your elbows and lower, and then straighten again.

6. Wall sit

Stand against one of your office walls. Lower down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle with your back against the wall for support. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then stand once more.

7. Calf raises

Stand in front of your desk, holding onto its edge or your chair for support if you prefer. Start with your feet together, raise onto your tiptoes and hold for 10 seconds. Lower and repeat.

8. Leg raises

Good news – you get to stay sitting down for this one! Sitting on your chair, raise and straighten one leg at a time. Raise it to a 90-degree angle and then lower – but don’t touch the floor before raising your leg back up. For a more challenging variation, lift both legs at the same time.

9. Pacing

If you use a headset when you’re on the phone at work, stand up every time you’re on a call. While talking, walk around your office (or perhaps just your own desk space if you share an office with others). And if you don’t use a head set, get one!

Tried any of these exercise in your office? We’d love to hear about the reaction! Let us know how your workplace workouts are going in the comments below.


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