10 Exercises To Do At Work

Last updated on : December 17 2022

girl performing and arm and back stretch at her desk

Article Summary

If you can't get to regular resistance training, we recommend that you incorporate some exercises into your everyday routine while sitting at your desk during work.

Click on the links below to learn more.  

1. Arm Stretch - Increases the flexibility in your wrist and arms, and relieves stress.

2. Booty Clench - Tones your buttocks.

3. Ab Twister - Builds stronger abdominal muscles and reduces lower back pain.

4. Waist Rotation - Strengthens your core muscles and reduces your waistline.

5. Leg Extention - Exercises your hip and thigh muscles.

6. Chair Slide - Exercises the backs of your thighs.

7. Leg Lift - Strengthens your core and thigh muscles.

8. Seated Press Up - Exercises various joints, triceps, and your shoulder area.

9. Calf Toning - Tones your calf muscles.

10. Water Bottle Workout - Reduces neck, shoulder, and back pain.

Infographic, pinterest, 10 Exercises To Do At Work

Exercises To Practice At Work

“I know I need to exercise, but I don’t have time. After work, I want to veg out on the sofa with a glass of wine.” 

Are you tired and exhausted as the day comes to a close? Do you prefer to veg out instead of donning something sexy.? It's likely that you've heard your girlfriends lament the lack of time to exercise, or are guilty of saying this yourself.

Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is a significant disadvantage of modern-day work life. Sitting for long hours at a stretch does harm to your health causing aches and poor blood circulation. We also know that sitting too much leads to unsightly changes in your body like visible love handles and the dreaded double chin.

The question is, how do you deal with balancing full-time demanding work life with a healthy lifestyle?


If you can't get to regular resistance training, we recommend that you incorporate some exercises into your everyday routine while sitting at your desk during work.

Deskercises, or exercises that you do while sitting at your work desk have helped innumerable people deal with the nagging health problems and pains associated with sitting for too long. 

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We’ve compiled a list of the ten exercises to practice at work.

1. Arm Stretch

Pinterest, Infographic, Arm Stretch

Benefits: Increases the flexibility in your wrist and arms, and relieves stress.

Stretching exercises are good for controlling your muscles and reducing stress when you are neck-deep in work and tensed. Performing arm extends while seated at your desk can work immediately to renew your energy and relax stiff muscles. 

Here’s how to do arm stretches effectively.

  • With your right arm, reach out to your left as far as you can.
  • Use your left elbow to support the right arm by placing it in the crook of the elbow. You will feel the stretch through the muscles.
  • Hold for five seconds before releasing.
  • Repeat 8-10 times and then switch arms to stretch your left arm.

2. Booty Clench

Pinterest, infographic, Butt Clench

Benefits: Toning your buttocks.

Yes, you can work your booty muscles even as you sit at the office and work on that presentation. The advantage of this exercise is that no one will notice that you are performing crunches—not even your neighbor.

Booty clenches are ideal for strengthening your derriere, but if you want to achieve more shape, we recommend that you focus on compound movements. 

To keep your buttocks toned here’s all you need to do:

  • Squeeze or clench your butt cheeks together.
  • Hold them together for 10 seconds and then release.
  • Repeat 8-10 times or until you feel that your glutes are tired.  


3. Ab Twister

Pinterest, infographic, Ab Twister

Benefits: Build stronger abdominal muscles. Reduce lower back pain.

Wishing for sculpted abs is a daydream when we are cooped up in our cubicles for the better part of the day. 

But squeezing just a bit of time into your workday to do this exercise helps you work your ab muscles smartly.

Here’s how:

  • Sit on the edge of your chair with a straight back and place your arms over your chest in a crossed manner.
  • While inhaling, lightly flex or squeeze the muscles on your abdomen.
  • Exhale slowly without relaxing the muscles, and squeeze them tighter while gradually turning right with your upper body.
  • Inhale again and twist to the center, returning to the original position.
  • Repeat the same to your left side. Repeat ten times on each side.

4. Waist Rotation

Pinterest, infographic, Waist rotation

Benefits: Strengthen your core muscles and reduce your waistline.

Are you worried about your waistline becoming non-existent because of the long hours of sitting at work? 

Now you can make the chair you sit on work to your advantage. Use it for this simple yet effective exercise. 

These are the steps for a waist rotation:

  • Remain seated with your spine straight and upright.
  • Rotate as far as possible to your left.
  • Hold this position for five seconds, return to your start position, and repeat for your other side.
  • If you need extra support to hold the rotation grab the backrest of your chair.
  • Complete up to five sets.

5. Leg Extension

Pinterest, infographic, Leg extension

Benefits: Exercise hip and thigh muscles. Relax leg muscles.

Your legs don’t just get tired from walking. They also experience exhaustion from being stiff and immobile. 

The good news is that an easy-to-perform exercise can help release stress from your leg muscles while also working for your thighs and hip. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Sit on the edge of a chair and place your arms on both sides.
  • Extend the right leg outward while keeping it straight and flex your foot enough to ensure that the right heel is touching the floor.
  • Raise the leg as high as possible without making your back rounded.
  • Count to 3, and bring your leg down.
  • Repeat for each leg ten times and perform 2-3 sets.

6. Chair Slide

Pinterest, infographic, Chair slide

Benefits: Exercise the backs of your thighs.

Another leg deskercise is one that works to tone and relax the muscles on the back of your thighs. 

If you are using any regular chair, this is what you need to do:

  • Wear socks or place a towel on the floor a little distance away from your chair, and extend both your legs forward.
  • Use your legs to draw the towel towards your chair while remaining seated.
  • Straighten your legs, and then slide the towel out once more to return to your original position.

If you work on a chair that has wheels, even better. Just follow these steps:

  • Extend your legs to your front with heels touching the floor and toes facing upward.
  • Bend your knees and press the heels into the floor while trying to wheel the chair forward to where your feet are. Remember to keep the rest of your body still while doing this.
  • Stick your legs out again and repeat the process. You can do up to 10 repetitions of the chair slide at a time.

7. Leg Lift

Pinterest, infographic, Leg lift

Benefits: Strengthen your core and thigh muscles.

During your next conference call work your leg muscles with this useful exercise. This simple deskercise is easy to perform and goes unnoticed by anyone around. 

This is how to do leg lifts at work:

  • While sitting, place both your feet flat on the ground and keep your back straight.
  • Lift your right leg until it touches the bottom of your work desk.
  • Bring it back to the ground, then repeat for the left leg. You can do ten sets of eight repetitions of this exercise.  

8. Seated Press-Up

Infographic, pinterest, Seated Press-up

Benefits: Exercise various joints, triceps, and your shoulder area.

The shoulder and triceps (upper arms) are a significant problem we often hunch them over a computer for long hours each day. 

To relax these muscles, perform the press-up exercise while at work.

This is how you do it:

  • Sit on the edge of a chair and place your palms by the side, over the edge of the seat.
  • Put pressure on your arms like you are trying to lift yourself off your chair, but do not raise yourself.
  • Hold this position for three counts before releasing it. Repeat this simple exercise up to ten times.

9. Calf Toning

Pinterest, infographic, Calf toning

Benefits: Exercise your calf muscles.

Calf toning is an excellent exercise for your calf muscles without resorting to weights or tough exercises at the gym. 

With this deceptively simple deskercise, working your calves becomes a breeze. Just follow these steps:

  • Remain seated and lift both legs right on the tips of your toes.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds. You will soon feel the burn in your calf muscles—it only means that the exercise is working.
  • Repeat the step 8-10 times.

10. Water Bottle Workout

Pinterest, infographic, water bottle workout

Benefits: Reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain.

Sitting hunched at your desk while you furiously answer emails is a typical scenario in all offices today. And it often leads to a constant ache in the back, neck, and shoulders

If you suffer from these pains, use a water bottle to alleviate them with this deskercise. This is what you need to do:

  • Keeping your back upright and shoulders down, sit halfway on your chair to get into position.
  • Keep a plastic water bottle between your knees and line up your knee with the ankle.
  • Ensure that your calves and thighs are at a 90-degree angle and your feet approximately 4 inches apart.
  • Squeeze the bottle with your thighs about 30 times to work your thigh muscles as well.

Why Exercise At Work?

There are many benefits to incorporating exercise into your workday. Some of the main reasons to exercise at work include the following:

  • Improved physical health: Regular exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and improve overall physical fitness.
  • Improved mental health: Exercise can positively affect mental health, reducing stress and anxiety and improving mood.
  • Increased energy: Exercise can help increase energy levels and improve productivity, as it can help improve sleep and reduce fatigue.
  • Enhanced brain function: Exercise can improve cognitive function, including memory, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Improved team building: Exercise can be a great way to build teamwork and improve relationships with colleagues.

Overall, incorporating exercise into your workday can have numerous physical and mental health benefits and improve productivity and team building.


happy girl stretching arms at desk

Try these simple deskercises regularly, especially if you are sitting for long periods. They alleviate aches and pains and improve your health all while sitting at your desk. 

They are also useful when you cannot find time to hit the gym, making the best use out of your sedentary work time. 

Naturally, we don't promise an hourglass figure through just these exercises, but we do promise relief and rejuvenation. And an excellent way to help pass the day. 

However please remember. Before beginning any exercise routine, we recommend that you consult your doctor. And experiment with these exercises to discover what works the best for you. Also, ensure you consider these common workout mistakes that might hurt your fitness goals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Exercise At My Desk In Secret?

Many of the exercises above can be done quietly at your desk without anyone noticing. Try the booty clench, seated press-up, calf toning, and water bottle workouts first. And then progress to the others as you learn to be less conspicuous, or when fewer people are around.  

How Can I Burn Calories At My Desk? 

Leg raises burn approximately 70 calories for 10 mins and the water bottle workout approximately 80 for the same amount of time. With some determination and perseverance, it's easy to burn over 250 calories with these exercises across your day at the office. 

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