21 Easy and Awesome Ways to Deskercise At Work!
Anyone who works in an office knows how sedentary and unhealthy it can feel cooped up in front of a computer screen for eight hours every day. You can find yourself feeling lazy, sleepy and unproductive if you don’t manage to find the time in your day for a little activity. Luckily no matter how busy you are there are some easy and effective exercises that you can do from the comfort of your office or even your desk chair that will get the blood flowing and keep your body and mind feeling fresher throughout the day. Let’s deskercise!
#1 Twinkle Toes
Inconspicuously tapping your feet under the desk and rolling your ankles just like you would on a long-haul flight will quickly get some life back into your legs when they’re just sitting there all day. If you don’t mind making a bit of a scene you can up the ante by standing in front of a small wastepaper basket and lifting up those legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet, in soccer-drill fashion.
#2 The Stair Master
Take the stairs! This is a simple hack to getting a bit more active in your workplace. Best of all it let’s you skip queues for the lift and awkward silences/conversations with randomers in the building. For a real leg burn try sprinting some sections or jumping up several steps at a time!
#3 Jog and Get Over The Slog
Taking a few quick breaks over the course of your day is a bit of a no-brainer and luckily if you’re pressed for time you don’t even need to leave your office. Get up off your chair and simply jog on the spot for a few minutes at a time. Pick up your knees to get the heart rate up!
Photo: Pete Souza
#4 Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
Finding a bit of time for some office walking during the hectic workday is actually very easy. Instead of dialing extensions and sending lazy emails to colleagues or the manager two doors down, stretch your legs and put in some face time. Going for a stroll is also a good way to clear your head a bit and catch up with coworkers you meet on the way!
#5 Shake It Out
Get rid of all that pent-up stress you’ve built up during the day and give yourself an instant energy boost with some seated dancing. Dance like no one’s watching…even if they are!
Legs and Butt
#6 Wall Workout
Wall sits are a humble and easy exercise that are great for building strength and endurance. Standing with your back against the wall, simply bend your knees and slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Just hold the pose for 30-60 seconds (or, you know, try and beat the world record of 12 hours!), while you check Facebook or the news. Fancy a challenge? Try crossing your right ankle over the left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch!
#7 Printer Practice
Don’t waste a minute of your busy day. So while you’re standing around in the printer room as the machine works it’s butt off, give calf raises a quick go. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, press up onto your tippy toes, pause at the top, then lower back down and repeat until the printer is all done. Level up by raising only one leg at a time.
#8 The Secret Squeeze
There are deskercises out there which can be done completely covertly. A very simple toning exercise involves just a squeeze of the buttocks. Hold this for 5-10 seconds, and then release. Nobody will have a clue that you’re working on your beach bod while you’re sitting there typing up spreadsheets.
#9 Put Your Legs Up – No Chair Necessary
The leg raise is also an exercise you can do undetected throughout your day. While seated at your desk, straighten one or both legs and hold them in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor and repeat. The athletes among you might want to add some weight to their legs like a laptop bag or even add a crunch.
#10 Do You Even Squat?
A few squats are always going to be great for your body, no matter how gruelling they are! Best of all, you can use your chair as a safety net of sorts for when your legs fail you!
Photo: Seven Star Energy Centre
Shoulders and Arms
#11 The Desk Dip
Triceps dips can be done almost anywhere and the office is full of stuff you could use. Grab a sturdy desk or chair (without wheels!) and sit at the very edge. Place your hands on either side of your body while gripping the desk/chair’s edge. Plant your feet on the floor a step or two away and you’re all set to go.
Photo: Hitch Fit
Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and bring your palms together in front of your chest like you’re praying. Push both hands together until you feel a burn in the arms and hold for 20 seconds. It’ll just look like you’re praying for the day to be over, that deal to go through or maybe a cheeky raise! Do this on your lunch outdoors for a really calming break.
#13 Pump The Air Like You Just Don’t Care
Give your best Rocky impression and fist punch into the air like the office champ you are (alternating arms, of course), and continue for 60 seconds or more – or until you realize the boss is right behind you.
#14 Shadow Boxing
While you’re in Rocky mode give yourself a full arm and shoulder fix with a bit of shadow boxing to the perfect boxing playlist. If you’re brave, stand up and throw out a few jabs, hooks, and uppercuts in rapid succession. This is a fantastic way to relieve frustration and work off some energy, but just be careful of knocking out any co-workers!
Photo: Getty Images
#15 The Office Genie
Sit yourself like a genie while seated in a chair and with your hands on the armrests, push upwards to lift your body off the seat. Try to remain floating for 10-20 seconds and grant a few wishes while you’re at it.
Chest, Back, and Neck
#16 Shrug It Off
Raise both shoulders up toward your ears, hold for 5 seconds, then relax and repeat. Did you know there are advanced shoulder shrugs out there?
The wall push-up is more socially acceptable and suitable for suits. Standing one to two feet from a sturdy wall (you don’t want to come crashing through into the next toilet cubicle or the meeting room), lean forward until your palms are flat against the wall. Keep your arms parallel to the ground and do a few push-ups.
#18 Neck Training
Slouching in your chair or huddling over that computer screen is terrible for your back and your neck. Try this excellent neck strengthening trick to relieve any tension you’ve built up at your desk.
#19 The Desk Chair Swivel
If you’re lucky enough to have a fun swivel chair then you can have the time of your life (or at least the time of your office life) with this one. Try your hand at an oblique abs fix which essentially involves a slightly more refined and controlled version of twirling around on your chair like you’re 10 years old.
#20 Row, Row, Row Your Chair
After you’ve finished spinning around in your chair, position yourself at arm’s length from a desk or table and grasp its edge with your hands. Next, engage the core, raise the feet off the ground, and pull yourself into the desk’s edge. Push away and repeat. It might look a bit mindless but you’ll find it takes some exertion before long.
#21 The Fab Abs Squeeze
A final cheeky covert deskercise that you can do anywhere. Simply take a deep breath and tighten those abs. Granted, you probably won’t get completely chiselled doing just this, but it certainly can’t hurt!