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8 Great Exercises You Can Do in The Office Too!

 The last thing we think of when we get to work is exercising, and it's a pity that this is the case. After all, long hours of prolonged sitting plus the time it takes us to commute there and back, certainly do not provide us with an opportunity to stretch our muscles and bones. This is twice as true in the winter when there is less opportunity to get outdoors and move around. But what would you say if we told you that you can turn your desk into a small gym that will provide an effective solution to the problem without affecting your working hours? This is the time to reduce the chances of unnecessary back pain, muscle cramps, poor posture, or just a general feeling of frustration and idleness, with the following 8 simple and easy stretching and fitness exercises.


1. Seated desk child’s pose

This is an excellent way to apply child’s pose, taken from yoga, in the workplace without leaving your chair. The exercise retains its various health benefits, including improving the flexibility of the back muscles, expanding shoulder range, stretching the spine and activating the abdominal muscles.

Seated child's pose


How to:

  • Sit on a chair 1-2 feet away from your desk and keep your back straight.
  • Suck your stomach in and lean forward as you move your arms forward and look with your head toward the floor.
  • Be sure to keep the arms straight and parallel to the floor. 
  • Walk your hands to the right so you can feel a stretch on your left side, hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • The exercise can be performed up to 3 repetitions per side.

2. Neck stretch

Pain from cramped neck muscles is one of the most common symptoms in an office environment that indicates harmful stress applied to the shoulder and head area. Don’t let pain be part of your routine and treat the area with a simple, short stretch that will ease muscle stiffness and quickly reduce pain. 

neck stretch

How to:

  • Sit on a chair with your back straight and your head up.
  • Turn your head to the right and tilt it downward.
  • While tilting, hold the top of your head with the palm of your hand and pull it down toward your armpit to intensify the stretch. 
  • Hold your neck in this position for 15-30 seconds and then move to the left side.
  • Assign up to 3 repetitions for each side.

3. Seated spinal twist

A lot of tightness accumulates in the back area both out of the lack of proper posture and from the many pressures exerted on us in the workplace that leave their marks on our bodies. The following exercise provides a great way to relieve aching muscles, improve posture, and slightly restore flexibility to the back. 

seated spinal twist

How to:

  • Sit on a chair while keeping your back, compressing your abdominal muscles and placing both feet parallel on the floor.
  • Turn to the right side while placing your right hand at the base of the chair just behind your buttocks and your left hand on your right knee.
  • During the rotation, take a deep breath and try tilting your upper body slightly to the right side to maximize the stretch.
  • Stay in this position for up to 5 seconds and do the exercise again to the left.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions per side.

4. Desk shoulder and hamstring stretch 

All of us have a natural tendency to bend our shoulders forward during the many hours of sitting at work, but that doesn’t mean that this is the recommended posture for our bodies. It’s actually really bad for your back and turns into quite the harmful habit. With the next position, you can maintain posture and even stretch your hamstring muscles which often suffer from inactivity at work.

seated spinal twist

How to:

  • Stand about 2-3 feet from your desk, keeping your back straight, legs straight and arms parallel to the sides.
  • Bend forward while keeping your back and legs as straight as possible and rest your hands on the table stretched.
  • Stay in this position between 15-30 seconds.
  • This stretch can be repeated about 3 times.

5. Chest opener

Not only is the chest opener easy to perform, but they also have quite a few health benefits, which makes it particularly worthwhile. With this exercise, you can stretch your spine and keep it flexible, relieve tension in the upper back and shoulders, stretch your chest muscles and increase your breathing capacity, which promotes a sense of calm and peace despite the accumulated mental stress. 

chest opener

How to:

  • Stand with your back straight and place both hands behind your head with your fingers crossed together.
  • Lean backward and arch your upper back.
  • Stay in this position 15-30 seconds.
  • The exercise can be repeated between 2-3 times.

6. Toe raises 

Standing on tiptoes does seem like a relatively negligible exercise, but during the working day, we rarely perform any action with our legs so that this exercise is certainly a proper answer to the problem. By incorporating this exercise into your office routine, you can strengthen your ankle and calf muscles, improve your posture and balance. 

toe raises

How to:

  • Stood straight behind a chair and placed both hands on the backrest.
  • Lean forward carrying most of your weight onto the balls of your feet.
  • Squeeze the muscles of the buttocks and legs and stand on tiptoes for 3-5 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position, wait another 5 seconds and repeat the exercise, up to 20 sets in total.

7. Chair squat

Doing squats in your office chair is a simple and effective way to work the lower body and to sculpt the leg and buttock muscles which are barely moved during the working day. In addition, this exercise is known to burn many calories. 

chair squats

How to:

  • Stand upright with your chair behind you.
  • Hold your hands by your sides and keep your legs straight, exhale slowly, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle where the buttocks touch the chair without actually sitting.
  • While bending, be sure to keep your back straight and lift your hands parallel to the floor.
  • Take a deep breath and return to your starting position.
  • The exercise can be performed in 3 sets with a rest of one minute between each set.
  • Each set consists of 10-15 repetitions.

8. Desk push-up

Push-ups are a great, effective and effective way to work on your upper body at work. It is enough to repeat this exercise several times a week so that you can strengthen the core muscles and shoulder muscles, increase the size of your chest muscles and work on your back muscles.  

desk push-ups

How to:

  • Stand about 2 feet away from your desk.
  • Bend forward and place both palms on the edge of the table (make sure it is stable) while keeping your back and legs straight and creating a 60-degree angle with the floor.
  • Keep your elbows close to your chest area
  • Exhale slightly and bend to create a 90-degree angle with your elbows.
  • Take a deep breath and push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions with a minute break between each set.

image source:  greatist

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