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Photo of a young happy businesswoman doing fitness exercise on pilates ball in the office

Exercises You Can Do at Your Standing Desk

Exercise is an essential part of everyone’s life to remain fit and healthy. However, often many feel too occupied and busy that leaving their desk is not an option. This lack of movement is not good for your physical or mental health, and as a result, can eventually begin to negatively impact your productivity levels. Simple workouts that can be achieved by your desk are solutions that allow you to move throughout the day while not totally compromising on your work. In this article, we will highlight some of the exercises we have found most popular – some of which we have tried in our own offices! – and take you through them step-by-step. 

The perks of performing desk workouts

As mentioned, not giving proper time to physical activity not only negatively impacts your physical health but also affects your work and performance levels. Some of the key benefits to encourage you to work out at your desk are as follows: 

How to work out at your desk

  1. Regular movement, especially mini exercises by your desk, help you to stay focused and motivated throughout your day.
  2. Stress and anxiety levels can be improved.
  3. It helps you to stay fit and give your muscles a well-needed stretch.
  4. Most exercises are simple and easy; and you’ll feel great after doing them!

We will take you through the best exercises and teach you how to work out at your desk under the following categories:

  • Basic Desk Exercises.
  • Best Standing Desk Exercises.
  • Desk Exercises for Legs.

Basic Desk Exercises

Neck Rotations

Desk exercise for the neck

This exercise will help you with any spinal pains and backaches. It will also help to prevent headaches as it releases the strain off your neck and back muscles, helping you focus more.

  1. Put both hands on either side of your neck.
  2. Start from a position where the most pressure has accumulated.
  3. Release tension from your neck by rotating it completely at a 360 degree – slowly.
  4. Apply slight pressure when rotating to gently ease your muscles.

Desk exercise for hands

Wrist Stretches

This wrist stretch is particularly useful for those who write and type a lot and is an effective exercise to relieve stiffness.

  1. Start by rotating your wrists in 360 degrees.
  2. Stretch your fingers by ‘opening and closing’ your fingers against your palm in an emphasized way.
  3. Hold your arm outright and pull your fingers back towards your body, repeating for both hands.

Desk exercise for triceps

Chair Dips

This exercise is simple and can be done easily by using your chair. Chair Dips are very effective for legs, arms, and abs/torso workouts.

  1. Slightly slide off your chair and stretch your body outward.
  2. Hold the handles/seat of your chair to balance yourself.
  3. Using your arm strength, raise your body up and down in ‘sit-up’ motions.
  4. Continue until you feel a tightening in your core, abs, and triceps.

Desk exercise for biceps

Desk Push-ups

This is one of the best desk exercises to improve your fitness. They are also extremely effective for your abdomen and arm movements.

  1. Place your hands against the edge of your desk.
  2. Walk your feet backward until your arms are holding your weight.
  3. Lean in and press your body against the desk.
  4. Using your arm strength, raise and lower your body against the desk.
  5. Do these desk pushups for one to two minutes, or until your arms start struggling to hold your body weight.

Desk exercise trunk stretching

Seated Lateral Trunk Stretch

This stretch is great to loosen your body and muscles; it would be particularly worthwhile to practice before undertaking a more heavy-handed exercise, such as the desk push-ups.

  1. Sit straight on a chair and raise one arm over your head.
  2. Place your other hand on thigh for balance.
  3. Start tilting your body in the opposite direction to whichever arm is raised until you feel a mild stretch along the side of your trunk.
  4. Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds.
  5. Repeat 3-5 times on each side.

Customize your own standing desk

Best standing desk exercises

We have compiled three popular exercises for standing desks that would go great with your standing desk!

Calf Raises

Stand up straight, using your desk or chair as a balance.

  1. Raise your heels off the ground, standing on your tippy-toes.
  2. Hold for a couple of seconds; between five and ten.
  3. Lower your heels back down to the ground.
  4. Repeat this several times to ease the leg muscle tension.

Desk exercise for legs with the chair

Standing Leg Swings

This exercise is one of the easiest exercises to do at a standing desk:

  1. Stand on one leg.
  2. Raise the other leg.
  3. Start swinging your leg back and forth to release the thigh tension.
  4. Repeat this several times until your legs feel looser and relaxed.

This stretching movement relieves feet and legs from getting sore and numb from sitting for hours!

Desk exercise for stretching back

Standing Trunk Extension Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet shoulders width apart.
  2. Place your hands just above your lower back.
  3. Start moving backward slowly, increasing the arch of your lower back until you feel a slight pressure in the lower back.
  4. Stay in this position for 15-20 seconds.
  5. Repeat it 3-5 times.

Desk exercises for legs

Feeling aches and pains in your legs? Try the following exercises to stretch them out and get the blood pumping! The best part? Most of them can be done from the comfort of your own chair.

Photo of a woman sitting on a chair and doing meditation

Bent-Knee Stretch

  1. Sit back against your chair.
  2. Stretch one of your legs out straight in front of you.
  3. Begin moving this leg in an upward/downward motion.
  4. Hold your abdomen in as you perform this exercise, contracting, and releasing.
  5. Repeat for two minutes.
  6. Switch and move to the next leg, repeating the same movement.

This is one of the best leg exercises at your desk that can ease your abdominal tension and flex your muscles.

Photo of a smiling woman sitting on a chair

Seated Bicycle Crunches

  1. Sit straight with your hands behind your head.
  2. Raise one of your knees towards your body, pointing it towards the opposite shoulder.
  3. If you are beginning with your left leg, attempt to touch your right elbow to your left knee.
  4. Twist your body downwards towards your leg as you move.
  5. Repeat the same on the opposite leg and arm.
  6. Continue this, swapping legs every time so your body is in constant movement.

These crunches are good for your abs and can work up a sweat after a couple of rounds.

Desk exercise hamstring stretch

Hamstring Stretch

  1. Sit straight in your chair.
  2. Try to touch your toes, stretching as much as you can.
  3. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the opposite leg.

This exercise is good for your abs and legs, giving you a deep hamstring stretch.

Single Knee to Chest Stretch

  1. Lay on your back on the floor.
  2. Bring one knee up towards your chest, pulling it up with your both hands.
  3. You will feel a mild to moderate stretch in the low back, hip, and buttock.
  4. Hold the position for at least 20 seconds.
  5. Repeat 3-5 times on each side.

Check our standing desk solutions

Final thoughts

This article has outlined and explained how to exercise at your desk with various stretches and exercises. Desk workouts improve your productivity and allow you to take mini breaks from work to refresh and clear your mind. Do these desk exercises regularly to remain fit and healthy without straining your muscles every day.

If you have any queries about our products or wish to find out more about purchasing your own standing desk, contact us now and we will be delighted to help you!

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