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10 Quick Exercises to Do at Your Desk

  • Category: LiveSmart
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cartoon man stretching by desk

Move your body while you work with these easy exercises – no equipment needed.

Finding it difficult to fit in a long workout at the end of a busy workday? Feel the need to move your body periodically to keep the juices flowing and get you through a midday slump? If so, you may be surprised by how many exercises you can easily do at your desk.

Many exercises require no equipment – all you need is your body weight. In some cases, you can use your desk or chair during the exercise. To up the intensity, keep a pair of light weights in your drawer.

Here are 10 quick and easy exercises you can do without leaving your office:

  1. Tricep dips – Stand in front of a chair with no wheels, with your back facing the chair. Put your palms on the edge of the chair with fingers facing you. Move your legs out in front of you, with your heels on the ground. Keeping legs straight, lower your body until your upper arms are almost parallel to the ground. Return to starting position. Repeat.
  2. Bicep curls – Stand or sit up straight, with a weight or heavy object in one hand. Starting with your arm straight down by your side, curl the weight up toward your shoulder while bending your elbow. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower the weight to the starting position. Repeat and switch sides.
  3. Pushups – Lean towards your desk, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder length apart. With arms and body straight, lower yourself until your chest almost reaches the desk and then return to starting position. Repeat.
  4. Wall sit – Stand up straight, with your back against a wall. Slide down until your knees and hips are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for 30 seconds and then slide back to the starting position. Repeat.
  5. Squats – Stand straight, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms stretched in front of you. Lower your body, keeping your knees in line with your toes. Hold for a few seconds and return to starting position. Repeat.
  6. Lunges – Stand up straight with your hands on your hips. Take a big step forward with one leg, bending your front knee while keeping it in line with your toes. Return to starting position. Repeat and switch legs.
  7. Calf raises – Stand straight, holding on to your chair or desk for balance if needed. Rise up on your toes and hold for a few seconds. Then lower heels back to floor. Repeat.
  8. Single leg deadlifts – Stand straight on one leg with your hands at your sides. Push your other leg straight back from your hip while reaching to the floor with both hands, stopping when your back is parallel to the ground. Return to starting position. Repeat and switch sides.
  9. Seated bicycles – Sit tall in your chair, with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. Lift one knee up and twist your opposite elbow to meet your knee. Return to starting position. Repeat and switch sides.
  10. Glute squeezes – Sit up straight in your chair and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can. Hold for 30 seconds and then relax. Repeat.

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Date Last Reviewed: March 14, 2024

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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