Desk Exercises for a Healthier Workday

Desk Exercises for a Healthier Workday

We spend a significant portion of our lives working. Unfortunately, most of us spend this time sitting at desks, which can lead to a plethora of health issues, from obesity to heart disease. However, this doesn't have to be the case. With some simple, unobtrusive desk exercises, you can combat the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, without leaving your workspace. Here are a few to get you started:

1. The Chair Squat

Chair squats give your legs and core a quick workout. Start by standing in front of your chair with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly lower your body towards the chair without actually sitting down. Hold this position for a few seconds, then stand back up. Repeat this 10 to 15 times, twice a day.

2. Seated Leg Lifts

Seated leg lifts target the abdominal muscles and can be done without anyone noticing. Sit on your chair with your back straight. Keep one foot on the ground while lifting the other foot a few inches off the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your foot. Alternate between your legs and repeat 15 times.

3. Wrist and Forearm Stretch

Many of us who spend our workdays typing know the discomfort that can come with it. The wrist and forearm stretch not only provides relief but also prevents carpal tunnel syndrome. Extend one arm in front of you, palm up. Use your other hand to gently pull the fingers down towards the body, then pull them towards the ceiling. You should feel a gentle stretch on both your forearm and your wrist.

4. Seated Spinal Twist

Sitting for prolonged periods can put undue stress on your spine. The seated spinal twist can help alleviate this. Sit on the edge of your chair, twist your torso to one side, and hold it for a few seconds. Look over your shoulder for a deeper stretch. Repeat on the other side.

5. Neck-and-Shoulder Stretch

This stretch can help dissipate the tension we often store in our necks and shoulders after hours hunched over a computer. Lower your left ear towards your shoulder and hold for a few seconds, then repeat on your right side. For a deeper stretch, gently pull your head towards your shoulder with the corresponding hand.


Remember, these are just a few examples of the exercises you can do to stay healthier during the workday. Experiment with these and other exercises to see what works best for you. Entwining some form of physical activity into your work routine is a practical way to keep your health in check. However, these exercises should complement, not replace, a balanced eating plan and regular exercise routine.