Exercises to do at Your Desk

Long office hours and commutes can make it hard to find the time to exercise. But, during the course of the day, we can all take at least 10 minutes here and there to get in some physical activity. Regular movement can also help you avoid sore wrists, stiffness and repetitive motion injuries.

Deep Breathing RFS -  breathe 2

Take a long deep breath in through your nose making a special effort to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top. This, when done correctly, will push out your belly. The process is similar to blowing up a balloon. Pause briefly (1 – 3 seconds). Exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure the inward and outward breaths take the same length of time. Continue to breathe in this fashion for several minutes. Repeat several times daily.

Feet and Legs

  • While seated, lift your toes while keeping your heels firmly on the ground. You can also do this exercise while standing.
  • While seated, slowly point your toes forward away from your body until you feel a slight tension. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
  • While resting your heel on the floor, flex your feet and toes back toward your body. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
  • Slowly rotate your feet clockwise several times and then counterclockwise.
  • Extend your leg out in front of you and hold for about 20 to 30 seconds, or sooner if your leg starts to quiver. You can do one leg at a time or hold both up together.
  • Flex your hips – while sitting in your chair, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and hold the position for as long as you are comfortable.
  • Stand up and march with your feet in place. This will exercise the large muscles in your legs.
  • While standing, rise up on your toes and lower them.

Hands and Arms

  • Stand up and shadow box by taking a couple of jabs at the air.
  • Pump both of your arms over your head for 30 seconds.
  • Raise your shoulder to your ear, hold and then relax. Repeat, alternating shoulders.
  • Stretch your arm out in front of you with the palm up. With your other hand, grab your fingers and lightly pull them down to stretch your forearm.
  • Lean on a sturdy piece of furniture, or the wall, and slowly push your body off of it; in effect, a standing push up.
  • Tense and relax the muscles in your hands. Make fists, spread your fingers and bend your fingers.
  • Stretch both of your arms out to the side of your body and then back, as far as you can. Bring them forward until they meet in front of you. Repeat.


  • Sit up straight in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Alternate sides.
  • Rest your back against a wall and move your feet away from the wall. The wall should be supporting the weight of your back and your knees should be bent. Hold the position for as long as possible.
  • Cross your arms over your chest and sit up straight. Tense your abdominal muscles and curl your shoulders towards your hips. Hold for a few seconds.
  • Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.

Butt Squeezes

This is the easiest exercise that you can do at your desk, on the bus, in your car or even standing up. You can even do them when others might be watching. Simply squeeze and release your buttocks muscles several times. This exercise will help prevent “office chair spread” of your hindquarters.