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Desk Exercises

Sitting for hours at your desk all day sets you up for injury and complications that come with increased weight, inactivity and less exercise. This is why simple exercises at your desk every day are very critical for your overall health and wellbeing. They also help to avoid ergonomic complications at the office, especially among those who stare at a computer monitor for hours.

These exercises do not require a 5 mile run, a jog or a walk on your lunch or coffee break. Rather, they are simple yet effective exercise routines that leave you fit. One of the complications of inactivity and sitting down for long periods of time is back pain, brought about by strained ligaments, muscles, bad posture, stress, and wear and tear.

Stay Active

The human body works well when active. Physiotherapists recommend standing after every hour, moving about the desk or from it. Coffee and lunch breaks are wonderful opportunities for this. A couple of minutes are critical to get blood flowing again. As a result, you will get back to your office desk rejuvenated and revitalised.

Stretch Without Leaving Your Workstation/Office

You should begin with the neck and stretch it. Flex the neck forward and backwards and from one side to the other. Rolling the head vigorously around the neck could bring about muscle damage and needs to be avoided. Work out the shoulders to release all the tension held in the shoulder muscles by rolling the shoulders towards the front for at least 10 minutes before doing the same towards the back.

Desk Chest Exercises

There are those at the office who love hunching over, especially over their computer. Chest exercises are best for these such people. Start by stretching the arms out as wide as you can, as if you are hugging someone. Rotate the wrists easily by moving your thumbs back and up before pulling the shoulders towards the back. This exercise can be done every few hours to ensure you are not hunching up too much, whether you are busy or not.

Deep Breathing

Like many people you probably only take deep breaths before speaking or dealing with a tough situation.  However, taking deep breaths is critical in exercising abdominal muscles, and this can be done at your desk. Start by taking a deep breath, hold for a couple of seconds, then breathe out slowly. Repeat this as much as possible. Deep breathing will allow you to relax and cope better with workplace pressure.


Sitting for too long without flexing your knees and hips tightens the hamstring.  To relieve this without leaving your seat, a number of things can be done. Sit on your seat’s edge as you stretch your leg forward. Point the foot up with the heel resting on the surface/floor. Look straight ahead and lean a bit towards the front from the hips until a gentle stretch is felt without any pain along your leg’s back. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat three times before turning to the other leg.

Leg Up

Sitting for hours at a time will tighten the quadriceps or muscles around the front of the thigh. If this happens for some time, you could injure the lower back and knees. Stretch your quads by standing just ahead of your workstation and place the left hand on the desk for balance.  By standing on the left leg, raise the right heel easily upwards until it touches or rubs the buttocks. Hold the right foot using the right hand until you have felt some stretch on the thigh, especially on the front. Hold on for 20 seconds and repeat at least three times before switching the legs.  

The most important thing to remember in light of all the above information is, never remain in the same inactive position for over 40 minutes. 

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