small business owner stretching at desk

7 Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk

If you sit for hours on end during the workday and find it difficult to fit the gym into your schedule, you might be damaging your health. You can get a workout at your desk, though, by using a standing desk, replacing your chair with an exercise ball, or going for a short walk around the building every 20 to 30 minutes. You can also try adding these seven desk exercises to your workday.

1. Leg Extensions

To start this exercise, sit with your thighs parallel to the ground (if your chair is adjustable) and keep your back straight. Slowly extend your right leg with your foot pulled toward your shin. Once your leg is fully extended, slowly return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg.

2. Side Bends

Sit at the edge of your desk chair and keep your back straight. Intertwine your fingers with your palms facing away from you, then lift your arms straight above your head. Lean to your left from your waist and hold for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat by leaning to your right side.

3. Shoulder Shrugs

Sit in your chair with your back straight. Shrug your shoulders as high as you can, trying to touch your ears. Hold that position for five seconds, then push your shoulders back down.

4. Bicycle

While you can buy bicycle pedals to keep under your desk, you don’t have to spend money for this exercise. Sit at the edge of your chair and hold onto the armrests or the seat. Mimic the act of riding a bike by bringing your knee toward your chest. Don’t forget to alternate between your left and right knees.

5. Hand Push-Ups

Place the palms of your hands together with your fingers aligned. Keeping your fingertips together, slowly push your hands away from each other. Bring your hands back together and repeat.

6. Wrist Stretch

Hold your right arm straight in front of you with your palm facing up. Use your left hand to pull your right hand straight down at the wrist. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat by stretching your left wrist.

7. Calf Stretch

Sit in your desk chair with your legs stretch out in front of you and your feet on the floor. Pull your toes toward your shins as far as you can. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Working out isn’t just good for your health; it can also boost your energy, which can help you be more productive at work. If you want to be even more productive, check out these 12 tips.