Work Desk

Move More, Work Better: How to Stay Active at Your Desk

Feeling the weight of your busy schedule? You’re not alone. As professionals, we juggle work, family, and countless other responsibilities, often leaving little time for ourselves. The fear of weight gain and the frustration of not seeing results from our efforts can be overwhelming. But what if staying active didn’t require a huge time commitment or a complete lifestyle overhaul?

You’re at your desk, plowing through emails and deadlines every single day. That’s an effort that goes toward important goals, right? There is nothing more important than you and your well-being, so next time you sit at your desk remember this simple 15-minute workout routine. It’s a game-changer if you put in the work, stay consistent, and prioritize yourself.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, right. I’ve tried desk exercises before, and they never work.” But what if these steps were different? What if they were specifically designed to target key muscle groups and boost your metabolism, all in just 15 minutes? And the best part is that you can stay active and energized without even leaving your chair.

We all want to work better, look better, and feel better. So, I promise you, if you do these 10 easy steps at least 3 times a day consistently every day while working at your desk you will start to see great results.

  1. Warm-up (2 minutes)
    • Shoulder Rolls: Sit up straight with feet flat on the floor, and make sure your shoulders are in line with your hips. Roll your shoulders up, back, and down in a circular motion. Reverse the direction of the circular motion
    • Neck Stretches: Gently tilt your head from side to side, holding each stretch for a few seconds, bringing each ear closer to your shoulder.
  2. Seated Leg Raises (1 minute)
    • Sit on the edge of your chair and lift one leg straight out in front of you.
    • Hold for 5 seconds, engage the muscles in the leg, and lower it back down.
    • Alternate legs, doing 10-15 reps on each side.
  3. Chair Yoga (3 minutes)
    • Seated Cat-Cow Stretch: Place your palms on your knees. Inhale, arch your back, and lift your chest and your gaze. Exhale, round your spine, and tuck your chin toward your chest. Breathe at your own pace and invite any other movement of the spine that feels good.
    • Seated Side Stretch: Inhale, raise your arms overhead. Exhale, lean to one side, stretching your torso. Inhale back to center, exhale to the other side. Repeat for 5 breaths on each side.
    • Seated Forward Bend: Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, hinge at your hips, and fold forward. Let your arms hang down or reach for your feet if comfortable and hold for 3-5 breaths, then slowly sit back up.
  4. Desk Push-ups (1 minute)
    • Stand up and place your hands on the edge of your desk, shoulder-width apart. Take a step or two back away from the desk and keep a flat back and neutral spine.
    • Lower your chest towards the desk, then push back up keeping the elbows close to your waist.
    • Do 10-15 reps.
  5. Chair Squats (1 minute)
    • Stand in front of your chair with your feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Lower your body towards the chair as if you were going to sit down, then stand back up.
    • Repeat for 1 minute.
  6. Desk Chair Swivel (1 minute)
    • Sit upright in your chair and grip the edge of your desk with both hands.
    • Use your arms to swivel your chair from side to side, engaging your core. If you don’t have a swivel chair, simply cross your arms at your chest and twist the upper body from side to side.
    • Continue for 1 minute.
  7. Calf Raises (1 minute)
    • Stand behind your chair and hold onto the back for support, unless you’re still seated.
    • Rise up onto your toes, then lower back down.
    • Repeat for 1 minute.
  8. Chair Dips (1 minute)
    • Sit on the edge of your chair and place your hands on the edge, fingers pointing towards your body.
    • Slide your body off the chair and lower yourself towards the floor, bending your elbows, then push back up.
    • Repeat for 1 minute.
  9. Leg Extensions with toe taps (1 minute)
    • Sit up straight in your chair and extend one leg out in front of you, then tap your toes on the floor and lower the leg back down.
    • Alternate legs, doing 10-15 reps on each side.
  10. Cool-down (2 minutes)
    • Shoulder Stretch: Reach one arm across your chest and use the other hand to gently press it towards your body.
    • Ankle Rotation: Extend one leg out in front of you. With your big toe draw a clockwise circle in the air 5 times and counter-clockwise circles 5 times. Switch legs and repeat.
    • Neck Stretch: Gently look over your left shoulder, holding for a few seconds, then switch sides.

Incorporating these 10 easy exercises into your workday can help you stay active and energized, leading to increased productivity and overall well-being. So, what are you waiting for? Get moving and start feeling the benefits today! If you have space for a mat near your desk, it’s good practice to get off your chair every hour and hold a plank for a minute or two. It will help relieve any back pain, and reset your spine back to neutral.

P.S. If you try these and you want to add variety or intensity to your routine, make sure to check here for more tips, or send me a message and I’m happy to add more content like this.