15 Great Ways to Deskercise

We all know that prolonged sitting – the kind we do all day at work – can be bad for our health. But what can we do if our job requires us to be chained to a desk all day?

Luckily, spending all day at the office doesn’t have to mean staying sedentary. Short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises and stretching in between conference calls and emails can help improve fitness levels and heart health.

To the rescue are 15 exercises you can do at your desk. The ones here are subtle enough to spare you strange looks from your coworkers, but effective enough to make a real dent in your desk-sitting time. Happy deskercising!

Desk Dynamics

  1. Sitting in your chair, lift one leg off the seat, extend it out straight, hold for 2 seconds; then lower your foot (stop short of the floor) and hold for several seconds. Switch; do each leg 15 times.
  2. Stand in front of your chair and repeat sitting down and standing up 10 times, three times a day. Lower to one-inch of the chair, pretending you are sitting down, hold for 10 seconds, and lift back up to standing position.
  3. Pull your shoulders as high as you can and roll them forward 10 times, and backward 10 times throughout the day.
  4. To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds. Do 15 times.

Copy Machine Calisthenics

  1. Hold onto the copy machine for balance. Lift one leg to the back or side, keeping it straight. Slowly lower it. Change sides.
  2. Lift one leg to the back or side, bend at the knee. Swing leg forward and back for 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
  3. Do one-legged squats (hold onto a wall or table for support) while waiting for a web page to load, the copier to spit our your reports, or faxes to slither out.

Bottom Line Lifters

  1. Perfect for while you’re stuck on the phone, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight to your left leg and lift the right leg behind you (hold onto your desk or chair for balance!). Slowly circle your left leg clockwise 25 times and counter-clockwise 25 times. Switch legs.

Water Bottle Workout

  1. Grab your water bottle in your right hand and curl it up towards your shoulder. Repeat 15 times. Change arms.
  2. Hold your water bottle in your right hand and bend your elbow. Extend your arm overhead. Repeat with the other side.
  3. Hold your water bottle at chest level. Twist to the right as far as you can, then twist back to center. Twist to the left. Repeat 10 times.
  4. Using your chair or a sturdy table, place your hands on the edge and bend your arms to slowly lower yourself about six inches lower than the seat. Raise yourself by straightening your arms. Repeat this three times a day for 10 repetitions.
  5. (First, make sure your desk is solid enough to support your weight.) Standing, put your hands on the desk. Walk backward, then do push-ups against the desk. Repeat 15 times.

Innovative Isometrics

  1. Make a fist and squeeze. Hold and release. Stretch your fingers. Repeat 10 times.
  2. But if possible, replace your desk chair with a fitness ball (we found this great one at Walmart!). Sitting on a ball at your desk can improve your balance and tone your core muscles. Sit straight on the ball with your feet planted firmly on the floor. Feel your abs contracting to hold yourself in good alignment.




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