Our Favorite Exercises to do in the Office

It’s the middle of the workday and you’re starting to feel sleepy and unmotivated. It’s a feeling many of us with desk jobs know all too well due to the sedentary lifestyle of office work. I mean, who wouldn’t feel groggy and physically stiff after sitting in an office chair for 8 hours?  

Sitting too long while working can cause decreased energy and productivity levels, plus it can cause some major backaches if you aren’t making a cognizant effort to reduce back pain related to sitting at your desk. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to sneak in some office exercise regularly, as it can lead to improvements in both your physical and mental health. You will be surprised how just a few adjustments can make a big difference, plus you can burn some extra calories throughout the day! 

So without further ado, here are our favorite exercises to do in the office. 

Take a Quick Trip to the Stairs

This exercise is as simple as it gets but is a great way to strengthen your legs and glutes. You can start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator in the mornings for some extra physical activity. Then, slowly start incorporating visits to the stairs more often into your routine. Make a goal to walk a few flights of stairs every time you get up to go to the bathroom or get some water. Recruit a friend to join you and hold each other accountable. Not only will trips to the stairs help burn some extra calories, but the increase in blood flow will help your body to more effectively fight off potential sickness and boost energy levels.

Have a Walking Meeting

Although vastly underrated, walking is a great workout. In fact, experts say walking only 30 minutes every day can lead to increased heart and lung health, reduced risk of heart disease or stroke, and increased muscle strength. So the next time you have a check-in with a coworker, see if they'd be open to making it a walking meeting. Plus, getting some fresh air outside is always an instant mood booster.

Stand While You Work

It may seem obvious that standing burns more calories than sitting, but did you know that standing while you work can also help lower your blood sugar levels and your risk for heart disease? Talk about an easy and beneficial office exercise! So how do you stand at work you ask? The answer is easy, invest in a standing desk. Many companies are now providing their employees with standing desks due to anecdotal evidence that suggests standing desks can help to increase productivity. If your company hasn't already jumped on the standing desk trend, explaining to them the many benefits of a standing desk might do the job. Plus, Mount-It! offers an affordable array of sit-stand workstations including standing desk converters that allow you to easily transition your desk into a stand-up desk.

Say a quick “Hello” to Your Coworkers

Are you an “office wanderer?” Well, now is a perfect time to start evolving into a corporate nomad. If ever you’re feeling the need to take a little break from prolonged sitting, why not make the most of it by saying “hey” to a few of your favorite colleagues around the office. Try this every two hours or so to get your body moving while becoming the office’s new social butterfly. 

Do some Quick Office Exercises

The below exercises can be done in any office environment, so you have no excuse not to whip them out. Plus, if you have a standing desk you can also add these standing desk exercises to your repertoire.

Desk Push-Ups

Sounds scary? It’s not! 

Simply move your desk chair out of the way and check to ensure your desk is sturdy enough to support your body weight for this easy desk exercise. Stand approximately two feet away from your desk, lean forward placing both hands shoulder-width apart, lower your chest and push back up. You should feel the tension in your chest, shoulders, abs, and forearms. 

Recommended Reps: 3 sets of 10-15

Benefits: improves Upper body and lower back strength

Wall-Ups

Similar to the desk push-up, wall-ups incorporate a similar approach to strengthening your chest and abdominal muscles. Stand a few steps away from the wall and lean towards it, placing your hands around six to eight inches wider than your shoulders. 

Recommended Reps: 5 sets of 10-15

Benefits: Strengthen chest muscles and upper abdominal muscles

Chair Squats 

Sure, some coworkers may give you a funny look, but you won’t care once you start busting out these fun and effective squats at your desk. For this office workout, stand right behind your desk chair and squat all the way down until you feel the base of the desk chair on your rear. Then, without putting any weight onto the chair, stand back up. 

Recommended Reps: 5 sets of 10 

Benefits: Strengthen quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. 

Chair Dip

Get ready to toss your tie over your shoulder and loosen a button or two on your shirt with this fantastic office-friendly alternative to squats. Sit on the edge of your chair and place both hands on each side of your seat cushion near your bottom. Now, keep both legs close together, at least six inches away from your chair, and lift your butt up using your hands. Lower your body down by bending your elbows and engaging your core while keeping arms close to your torso. Straighten arms to return to the start.

Recommended Reps: 5 sets of 5 

Benefits: Strengthen quadriceps, abs, chest, shoulders and triceps

Dress-Shoe Raises 

A great way to get your legs strong while incorporating your workout equipment (i.e., office chair) is to try this calf-burning exercise. Simply stand behind your chair and place your hands on top of the back support, and raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your tippytoes for a calf raise. 

Recommended Reps: 3 sets of 10 

Benefits: Strengthen hamstrings and calves 

Wall Sits

Wall sits are a great simple exercise with significant results and benefits. Find a wall nearby and stand against it with a tall and proud posture. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and while your back is leaning against the wall walk two feet in front of you. Now, slide all the way down until you are at a 90-degree angle. Using your core and thighs, keep your body in this exact position for a minute.  

Recommended Reps: 2 sets for 1 minute each

Benefits: Strengthen glutes, quads, abs, and hamstrings  

So there you have it! These exercises to do in the office are a simple yet effective way to burn some extra calories throughout the workday, increase your mood, and get your blood pumping. Enjoy!

Sources: 

https://niveinclinic.com/why-good-blood-circulation-is-vital-to-your-health/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/walking-for-good-health

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-a-standing-desk#section9