25 Office Exercises: Easy Desk-Friendly Ways to Get Fit (2024)

Table of Contents
Desk Exercises: Upper Body 1. Triceps Dips 2. Arm Pulses 3. Arm Circles 4. Desk Push-Ups 5. Wall Push-Ups Bonus: The 7 Minute Workout Desk Exercises: Lower Body 6. Chair Squats 7. Standing Rear Pulses 8. Pretend Jump Rope 9. Calf Raises 10. Wall Sits 11. Lunge Desk Exercises: Core 12. Seated Bicycle Crunches 13. Oblique Twists 14. Lower-Abs Leg Lifts Desk Exercises: Stretches 15. Triceps Stretch 16. Neck Rolls 17. Shoulder Stretch 18. Shoulder Rolls 19. Chest Stretch 20. Upper Back Stretch 21. Torso Twist 22. Hamstring Stretch 23. Bent-Knee Stretch 24. Wrists and Fingers Stretch 25. Eagle Arms People Also Ask These Questions About Office Exercises Q: What are the benefits of doing office exercises? Q: When should I do office exercises during work hours? Q: Can we do office exercises in groups? Q: Are there office exercise apps that I could use in the workplace? Employee Wellness Resources 121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas Your Team Will Love 6 Easy Ways How To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy) 45 Successful Corporate Wellness Programs Employees Will Love 42 Corporate Wellness Companies That Are Transforming Workplace Health and Happiness 13 Easy Ways to Create a Zen Office Space On a Budget 23 Surefire Ways to Boost Employee Wellbeing How to Create a Killer Office Fitness Challenge 11 Data-Backed Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs You Need to Know About Everything You Need to Launch a Kick-Ass Employee Wellness Survey 9 Simple Hacks to Stay Healthy at Work What Is An Employee Wellness Program? FAQs References

25 Office Exercises: Easy Desk-Friendly Ways to Get Fit (1)

Modern technology has given us plenty of benefits and conveniences, but with one major drawback: Most of us sit at a desk for eight (or more) hours a day, five days a week, most weeks of the year.

And unfortunately, the very thing that can make us productive, profitable, and successful employees for our company can also harm our health—maybe even permanently.

BONUS Office Exercise

Level Up Your Wellness In 5 Minutes

Desk Chair Leg Lifts 🪑

Instructions: Sit comfortably in your chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Hold onto the sides of your chair for stability. Lift one leg off the ground while keeping it straight and hold it in the air for a few seconds. Slowly lower it back down. Repeat this about 10-15 times on each leg.

This exercise helps engage your core muscles and leg muscles while seated, providing a quick burst of activity during your workday.

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Too much sitting can be blamed for health ailments such as weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions. One (slightly alarming) study even found that people who sit all day have a 40% increased risk of dying.

While we’re not saying your job is going to kill you, it’s a good idea to take some simple steps to improve your health at work. An easy place to begin: Simply start to move your body a little more at your desk. If you are working remotely and looking for virtual ways to work out with your team try planning an online fitness class for work.

Our Favorite Fitness Class Experiences Your Team Will Love
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🏋️ HIIT Cardio

2

🧘🏽 Yoga

3

🥊 Kickboxing

4

💃🏻 Zumba

5

💪 Body Sculpting

At Fitspot Wellness, the company I co-founded, our mission is to help more people become more active at work. And we’ve found that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort to take better care of your health and well-being on the job.

An easy way to start: Simply move your body a little more during the workday. To help you get started, we put together this list of 25 easy, desk-friendly exercises that’ll offset the effects of sitting all day. These exercises don’t require any sort of investment and will help you stay fit and maintain energy throughout the workday. The more you move, the better you’ll feel — it’s really as easy as that.

Recommended – Members of the SnackNation team have begun using Omorpho’s micro loaded clothing during our workouts. You can achieve an unparalleled mind/muscle connection while doing the exercises listed in this article and maximize the effectiveness of any activity that moves your body.

So, next time you feel like your rear might actually be stuck to your desk chair, try a few or all of these moves below. They’ll help get your blood moving, prevent stiffness and injury, and even build up strength. Pair them with some branded fitness swag and a few of the flexibility exercises to make your muscles feel really, really good!

Get Your Free Office Exercises Template

Page Contents (Click To Jump)

Desk Exercises: Upper Body

1. Triceps Dips

To do this move, you’ll need a stationary (not wheeled!) chair. Scoot to the front of the chair, with both hands facing forward. Place palms flat on chair, bend your elbows straight back, and lower yourself straight down several inches, keeping your back as close to the chair as possible. Then straighten your arms to rise back to start.

Complete 20 dips.

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Pair with: A massage stick roller to wake up those muscles before your early morning dip session.

2. Arm Pulses

These work your triceps and help stretch out your shoulders. Stand up at your desk with arms by your sides and palms facing behind.

Pulse the arms backward for 20 seconds, keeping arms as long and straight as possible.

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Pair with: Branded resistance bands that can increase the intensity of this do-anywhere arm workout.

3. Arm Circles

This move gives new meaning to the term “circle back.” Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight out to sides at shoulder height. Move your arms in a small backward circle.

Do 20 times in this direction, switch directions, and repeat.

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Pair with: A set of neoprene dumbbells to tone your arm muscles and take your arm circles to the next level. (Squeeze the dumbbells as you circle to change the muscle tension of your exercise.)

4. Desk Push-Ups

First things first: Make sure your desk is sturdy enough to support your body weight! Then, take a few steps back, so you can place your hands flat on your desk, a little wider than shoulder-width. Lower yourself down toward your desk, keeping your core tight. Then push back up until arms are straight but not locked.

Try to do 20 reps.

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Pair with: A set of push-up bars to alleviate stress on your wrist joints.

5. Wall Push-Ups

Here’s a modified version of the desk version. Stand a few steps from a wall and lean toward it, placing your hands flat and wider than your shoulders. Lower yourself down toward the wall, keeping your abs tight to maintain a straight line from your head to your toes, then push back up until your arms are straight (but not locked).

Complete 20 reps.

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Pair with: A weighted vest to help strengthen your body and add intensity to your office exercises.

Bonus: The 7 Minute Workout

Get in shape in no time at all with the 7-minute workout. This high-intensity workout consists of 12 body-weight exercises that target the entire body. The exercises in sequential order are jumping jacks, wall sits, push-ups, abdominal crunches, step-up onto a chair, squats, tricep dips, plank, high knees, lunges, push-ups with rotation, and side planks.

To perform the workout, do the above exercises one by one for 30 seconds each with 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise. Check out the Vantage Fit app, which has a dedicated 7-minute workout feature that will effortlessly guide you through the entire workout.

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Get Your Free Office Exercises Template

Desk Exercises: Lower Body

6. Chair Squats

Try to bust these out between meetings, on a call, any time. All you have to do is stand up from your chair, lower your body back down, stopping right before you sit back down. (Keep your weight in your heels to work those glutes). Then stand back up again.

Repeat 10 times.

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Pair with: A weighted slam ball for when you want to really feel the burn.

7. Standing Rear Pulses

If you’ve ever taken a barre this class, this move will feel familiar—but your desk is standing in for a barre. Holding the edge of your desk for support, bend one leg behind you, flexing the foot. Raise your heel up a few inches, then release slightly and press your foot directly back behind you. Continue to alternate between lifting your heel up, then pressing it back.

Do 20 to 30 reps, then switch sides.

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Pair with: Ankle weights add resistance to tone and sculpt your lower body.

8. Pretend Jump Rope

Hop on both feet at once or alternate if you need to modify. You can up the intensity by moving your arms as if you were holding a rope.

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Pair with: An actual jump rope for when you have some space in the office.

9. Calf Raises

Stand up behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor.

Do 3 sets of 10.

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Pair with: A hand and wrist strengthener to work out two muscle groups at the same time.

10. Wall Sits

Slide your back down a wall until your hips are at the same level as your knees and your knees are together at 90-degree angles. Maintain the position for 30 to 60 seconds, then release.

Aim for 15 reps.

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Pair with: A quick-drying yoga towel to dry off any sweat.

11. Lunge

With one leg in front of the other, gently lower the knee of your back leg down towards the ground, 10 times on each leg. Do this move at your desk, or go all out and lunge down the hall to the printer and back. Don’t be surprised if your co-workers want to join in.

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Pair with: A Neoprene Jogstrap for holding your phone.

Get Your Free Office Exercises Template

Desk Exercises: Core

12. Seated Bicycle Crunches

This is the good kind of crunch time. Sit in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Position your hands behind your head and lift one knee toward the opposite elbow, twisting your body down toward it, then return to the seated, straight-back position.

Finish 15 twists, then repeat on the other side.

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Pair with: A custom yoga mat for anyone who wants to get out of the chair and do some crunches on the floor.

13. Oblique Twists

If you have a swivel chair, you’re in luck. Use its twirl to your advantage with this oblique abs fix. Sitting upright and with the feet hovering over the floor, hold onto the edge of your desk. Next, use the core to swivel the chair from side to side.

Go back and forth 15 times.

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Pair with: A branded fitness tracker.

14. Lower-Abs Leg Lifts

This is a super subtle move you can do anytime. Sit straight up, with feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg up at a time, keeping core tight. To make it more challenging, try lifting both up at the same time.

Do 20 reps.

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Pair with: A massage ball to relive your tight muscles before your exercise.

Get Your Free Office Exercises Template

Desk Exercises: Stretches

15. Triceps Stretch

Now, stretch it out! Raise one arm and bend it so that your hand reaches to touch the opposite shoulder blade. (It’s OK if you can’t actually reach it.) Use your other hand and pull the elbow toward your head.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

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Pair with: A hoodie to keep muscles warm and avoid cramping.

16. Neck Rolls

Relax and lean your head forward. Slowly roll head in a circle on one side for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Do this three times in each direction.

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Pair with: A mini massager to extend the benefits of the stretch.

17. Shoulder Stretch

Clasp hands together above the head with palms facing up toward the ceiling. Push your arms up, stretching upward.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths.

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Pair with: A customized backpack that will feel good on your limber shoulders.

18. Shoulder Rolls

Raise both shoulders up toward ears, then slowly roll them backward. Repeat, rolling forward.

Do this three times in both directions.

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Pair with: A tank top for showing off those sculpted shoulders.

19. Chest Stretch

Clasp hands behind the lower back. Push chest outward, and raise chin.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths.

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Pair with: Bendy bracelets custom-printed with workout reminders and inspirations.

20. Upper Back Stretch

Hold your arms out straight in front of you, palms facing down. Lower your head in line with your arms, and round the upper back while looking down toward the floor.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths.

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Pair with: Branded, sweet-smelling lotionto enhance your zen vibes.

21. Torso Twist

Place feet firmly on the floor and place one hand on the back of your chair. Exhale and twist your upper body toward the arm on the chair back, using your other hand to press against your leg for leverage.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.

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Pair with: A customized frisbee you can hold to make twisting more fun.

22. Hamstring Stretch

Sit in your chair with both feet on the ground, then extend one leg outward. Reach toward your toes.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the other leg.

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Pair with: An exerciseband to deepen your stretch.

23. Bent-Knee Stretch

Lean back in the chair. Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths, then switch legs. *This can also be done standing up.

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Pair with: A cool company water bottle.

24. Wrists and Fingers Stretch

Office jobs mostly have us doing a lot of little things, like typing and texting. That’s why hand and wrist stretches like this one are so important! Standing, place both hands on your desk, palms faced down, fingertips facing your body. To intensify the stretch, lean forward. Hold the stretch until you feel the tension release.

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Pair with: Mints for making your breath as fresh as your newly stretched body.

25. Eagle Arms

This is a great stretch for your shoulders and upper back. While sitting, reach your arms straight out in front of you. Bend the left arm upward and sweep the right arm under it. Wrap your right arm around the left until you are able to grab the outside edge of the left arm or until you can clasp your palms together. Lift the elbows away toward the ceiling and pull your hands away from your face. Turn your head side-to-side.

Hold for 2 to 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

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Pair with: A yoga mat and case for encouraging out-of-office or home office fitness.

Shout out to our wonderful models, Meghan Duffy, Fitspot’s client success manager, and Jason Flake, Fitspot’s director of business development.

Get Your Free Office Exercises Template

People Also Ask These Questions About Office Exercises

Q: What are the benefits of doing office exercises?

  • A: The benefits of doing office exercises include increased energy, improved mood, and better productivity. When you’re stuck in an office chair all day, your muscles get tight and your energy level drops. Doing a few simple stretches or exercises can counteract all that sitting and help us feel more energized and productive.

Q: When should I do office exercises during work hours?

  • A: There’s no one “right” answer to this question, as everyone’s work schedule and daily routine will be different. Try to schedule your office exercises for times during the day when you have the most energy and the least amount of stress. This usually corresponds with the morning or early afternoon hours. Avoid doing exercises during or right before important meetings, or when you need to be especially focused on your work tasks. Finally, try to find a time during the day when you can take a break for a few minutes and do some simple stretches

Q: Can we do office exercises in groups?

  • A: Yes, you can do office exercises in groups. In fact, many people find that it’s more fun to do exercises in a group setting. There are a number of different office exercises that you can do with your coworkers. You can try doing some basic stretching exercises, or you could try doing some simple strength training exercises. You could also try doing some light cardio exercises, such as marching in place or jogging in place.

Q: Are there office exercise apps that I could use in the workplace?

  • A: There are a number of office exercise apps that can be used in the workplace. For example, the “7-Minute Workout” app can be used to get a quick workout in during your break time. And the “Sworkit” app has both individual and team workouts that can be done in the office.

Employee Wellness Resources

121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas Your Team Will Love

6 Easy Ways How To Reduce Stress at Work (And Be Happy)

45 Successful Corporate Wellness Programs Employees Will Love

42 Corporate Wellness Companies That Are Transforming Workplace Health and Happiness

13 Easy Ways to Create a Zen Office Space On a Budget

23 Surefire Ways to Boost Employee Wellbeing

How to Create a Killer Office Fitness Challenge

11 Data-Backed Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs You Need to Know About

Everything You Need to Launch a Kick-Ass Employee Wellness Survey

9 Simple Hacks to Stay Healthy at Work

What Is An Employee Wellness Program?

25 Office Exercises: Easy Desk-Friendly Ways to Get Fit (2024)

FAQs

How can I exercise at my office desk? ›

This stagnant existence has led to office fitness, commonly called "desk exercises." These are the ten best exercises to do at your desk.
  1. Hand and Finger Stretches. ...
  2. Neck Rotations. ...
  3. Abdominal Stretches. ...
  4. Hip Flexions. ...
  5. Leg Extensions. ...
  6. Toe Raises. ...
  7. Chair Squats. ...
  8. Elevated Push-ups.

How do you get fit when you work in an office? ›

Other options
  1. Go for a short walk on your breaks.
  2. Replace your office chair with an exercise ball.
  3. Use the stairs regularly.
  4. Consider a standing desk.
  5. Consider walking or biking to work if practical.
  6. Keep some exercise equipment at work so you can exercise during your lunch break.
  7. Walk while on the phone.
Jan 4, 2021

Which exercise is best for office workers? ›

4 Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk
  • Seated Crunches. Sit up straight, engage your abdominal muscles, and bring your knees up a couple of inches, either one at a time or together. ...
  • Seated Stepping. Use a low footstool for this. ...
  • Seated Push-Ups. This exercise strengthens your arms. ...
  • Twists, Shrugs, and Stretches.

What exercises can I do in the office? ›

10 Exercises You Can Do at the Office
  • Skip the elevator. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to burn some extra calories. ...
  • Take the long way to meetings. ...
  • Pick up an activity tracker. ...
  • Do lunges in place. ...
  • Wall sit. ...
  • Chair dips. ...
  • Put down that phone. ...
  • Leg planks.

How to stay in shape while sitting at a desk all day? ›

Staying fit and healthy when you sit at a desk all day
  1. Let's face it. ...
  2. Take mini breaks. ...
  3. Take advantage of lunch breaks. ...
  4. Stretch or move at your desk. ...
  5. Encourage walking meetings. ...
  6. Alternate between sitting and standing. ...
  7. Skip the elevator. ...
  8. Utilize your time outside of work.
Sep 9, 2019

How do I stay thin while working at a desk? ›

How to Lose Weight With a Desk Job (2023)
  1. Plan and pack your lunch. ...
  2. Outsmart Your Cravings by planning snacks ahead of time. ...
  3. Swap snack foods. ...
  4. Include protein in your snacking. ...
  5. Don't sit all day – stand for weight loss! ...
  6. Set an alarm for mini workouts during the workday. ...
  7. Get a work walking buddy. ...
  8. Drink more water.
Apr 12, 2023

How to not sit all day at work? ›

8 Tips for People Who Sit All Day
  1. Move Wherever You Work. Set your phone alarm or fitness tracker to remind you to move more, or maybe use a simple Post-It Note. ...
  2. Motivate a Happy, Healthy Family. ...
  3. Take a Stand. ...
  4. Have a Ball. ...
  5. Change it Up. ...
  6. Go the Distance. ...
  7. Step Out for Lunch. ...
  8. Make a Break for It.
Dec 21, 2018

How much should you exercise if you have a desk job? ›

In 2020, a meta-analysis of nine previous studies (5), using data obtained from fitness trackers and feedback from 44,370 participants around the world, suggested that about 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity should offset ten hours of sitting.

How to engage core at desk? ›

Using either a sturdy chair or work desk: place your hands on the edge (facing chair or desk) and walk your feet backwards until your body forms an angle. 2. Your feet should be hip-width apart, hold your hips in the air to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold for 20 to 45 seconds.

How can I get energy while sitting at my desk? ›

4 Energizing, De-Stressing Stretches To Do At Your Desk Right Now
  1. Simple seated twist. Inhale to lengthen the spine, and then exhale, bringing left hand to right knee. ...
  2. Eagle arms. Inhale to lengthen the spine, then exhale and cross arms at the elbow. ...
  3. Seated figure 4. ...
  4. Tree pose.

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