7 Exercises You Can Do While Sitting At Your Desk

Fit in a few of these exercises during work breaks.

One of the worst things you can do for your health is just sit around. Sedentary lifestyles are associated with obesity, poor cardiac health, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, and even cancer. A 16-year study by the American Cancer Society found that women sitting for 6 hours during their free time had a 43% greater risk of developing ovarian cancer, and 10% greater risk for invasive breast cancer.

When you take these numbers into account, incorporating movement throughout your day is a small price to pay for a better chance at a healthy life. This can be challenging for people who have office jobs. Being confined to a desk means you’ll spend a significant portion of the day sitting. Nevertheless, having a few go-to office exercises can help you break down extended sitting periods and incorporate movement into your day.

These 7 office exercises can help you stretch and build muscle. Stretching is particularly useful in the office where hunching over a desk can cause uncomfortable tightness in the neck, shoulders, and back. Next time you need a quick break, try fitting in a few of these moves.

1. Modified Downward Dog

This modified yoga move does double duty. It will help loosen tight muscles and it’ll help strengthn your abdominal and back muscles.

2. Chair Tricep Dips

You can do tricep dips using your office chair. Although perhaps it’s better to use a chair without wheels for stability.

3. Desk Push Ups

Work your arms, shoulders, and back by doing push-ups against your desk. The incline angle makes this modification easier than regular push-ups. If you’re having trouble completing a full set of regular push-ups, desk push-ups can help you build the needed strength.

4. Shoulder Press

There’s no reason why you can’t build strength while at work. Grab any object with a little bit of weight and practice your shoulder presses.

5. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian split squats are great for your glutes and legs. Position your back foot extended behind you on the seat of your chair and squat down until you feel a stretch.

6. Spinal Twist

A good spinal alignment can help alleviate aches and pains that develop from hunching over a work desk.

7. Modified Chair Pigeon Pose

This stretch will feel particularly good for runners and cyclists because it elongates the muscles along your legs, including the IT band, periformis, and glutes.

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Sofia Lopez

Sofia received her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She creates workouts and fitness challenges. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and listening to audiobooks from the exercise bike.

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