Time to ‘Deskercise’! Easy Ways to Workout at Work

Bonus: scroll down for a healthy on-the-go breakfast recipe!


Busy schedules can make it seem impossible to make it through the day, let alone fit in a workout. Yet, no matter how hectic your workday is, neglecting exercise can cause a serious detriment to both your physical and mental health- especially for those of us who spend the majority of our day sitting at our desks.

In fact, research has linked our sedentary lifestyles with a number of health concerns, including increasing risks of heart disease and diabetes.  One study found that those who sat for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity had health concerns similar to those posed by obesity and smoking.  However, those that exercised moderately for 60-75 minutes a day countered those effects triggered from too much sitting.

While you may not be able to avoid sitting at your desk or working on your computer for long periods of time, there are several ways you can prevent the health risks involved and increase movement into your day.


In this Wellness Wednesday, we’re sharing 6 exercises you can do at your desk.


1. Leg Extensions


Start by sitting upright in your chair. Keeping your right foot planted on the floor, straighten your left leg so that it is parallel to the floor. Hold it extended for 10-15 seconds, then lower back to the floor to complete one rep. Repeat on the same leg 5x, then switch legs. Muscles targeted: Quads


2. Chair Dips


*For this exercise you will need a stable office chair without wheels.

Position yourself on the very front edge of your chair, with your legs out in front of you.  Grasp the edges of the chair with both hands and bend your elbows 90 degrees, lowering your hips towards the floor. Press yourself back up until your elbows are straight but not locked. Repeat 15-20 times. Muscles targeted: Triceps


3. Chair Plank


Place your forearms on your chair with your hands touching each other. Extend your legs with your toes on the floor, creating a straight line from your head to your toe. Using your abdominal muscles hold the position for 30-60 seconds without lifting or sinking your hips. Muscles targeted: Abdominals


4. Back Twist


Elevate tension in your back with this easy twisting exercise.

Sit in your chair and place your feet firmly on the floor. Exhale and twist to the right. Use the armrest or back of the chair to increase the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Repeat 3-5x on each side.

Muscles targeted: Back


5. Chair Squats


Sit on the edge of your chair, feet flat on the floor. Press through your heels and push up until your hips are hovering over the chair, arms out in front of you for balance. Hold for 3 seconds, and then stand all the way up. Sit back down and repeat 15-20x. Advanced level: Try the same movement using only one leg. Then repeat on the other leg.

Muscles targeted: Legs, glutes, core


6. Calf Lifts


Sit in your chair and place both feet flat on the ground. Raise your legs up on the very tips of your toes while remaining seated. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat as many times as you can. You should start to feel your calf muscles burn after a few reps.

Muscles targeted: Calves


In addition to working out at your desk, here are a few tricks you can do to stay active while at work.

  1. Opt out of using the elevator and take the stairs whenever you can
  2. Swap your desk chair for an exercise ball to improve your posture and strengthen your abs and back
  3. Set an alarm every hour as a reminder to stand up, stretch, and do a lap around the office.
  4. Get outside during your lunch break and take a walk around the block
  5. Rather than sending emails or calling your co-workers, walk over and talk to them

Remember that any movement is better than none; so don’t worry if you can’t do all of the recommended exercises. By implementing a few of these exercises into your daily routine you’re on your way to feeling energized and refreshed!

If you have any questions or would like to talk to us more about your exercise in your workplace, please contact us today at info@pivothrservices.ca and stay tuned for more wellness tips on “Wellness Wednesdays”.


*Bonus Recipe: Peanut Butter Overnight Oats


Related Links

8 Easy Initiatives to Kick-start Your Workplace Wellness

What’s For Lunch? 5 Healthy Recipes to Bring to Work


What Our Clients say about us

Read more testimonials