Get Fit While You Work: Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk

Most people spend too much time sitting. I know, it can be hard to get up and move while at work or when the weather is less than cooperative, but let’s not forget that our bodies were designed for movement. And with our jobs keeping us sedentary anywhere from 8-10 hours a day, you can see where problems begin to arise.


Perhaps you meant to get in shape for the summer, but, exasperated at the thought of trying to fit gym sessions in after—or before—work, just thought, “Oh well, I guess I just don’t have the time.” Well, I’m here to tell you that in fact you do have time. Because while you’re sitting at your desk, checking Facebook or responding to that email, you can be incorporating exercise into your daily routine. No, we’re not suggesting you get a treadmill and start doing all your work standing up while walking: it’s so much easier than that. These short, easy routines will help to supplement your longer workouts, making you feel better during the day and improving your mental productivity around the office.


  • Skip the elevator and take the stairs: This will burn approximately 15-20 calories and is a great way to spend your 10-minute break in the middle of the day!
  • Do one-legged squats while waiting for your computer to boot up, a website to load or for the printer or fax machine.
  • If you’re the first one in the office, or have a vacant office nearby, do one minute of jumping jacks. Walking lunges are effective too.
  • While in your chair, pump both arms over your head for 30 seconds, then rapidly tap your feet on the floor, football-drill style, for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.
  • Place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds. Do 15 times. This will work your chest and shoulders…all while you’re just sitting in your chair!
  • Try desk pushups. After making sure your desk is sturdy enough, simply stand up and do pushups against the desk. Sets of 15 will have you feeling it in your arms, chest and back.


Feel free to make up some of your own fun exercises that will get you moving out of your chair! Your body—and your work—will reap the benefits.


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