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Deskercise- Top 10 Exercises to Do at Your Desk

19 October 2017

Top 10 exercises to do at your desk

Deskercise or desk exercise - a new trend is evolving these days, enabling people with desk jobs to do the exercise right at their desk. This form of exercise is desk-bound and it doesn’t involve leaving the office for a long walk or a gym session. It can be done at any point in the day. Young people often keep complaining about how they hate their sedentary lifestyles and that they want to exercise but can’t find the time. Workplace workouts are the easiest way to combat the adverse effects of a 9-to-5 routine. Earlier this year, BBC also published a news article in their health section under the title Should exercise be compulsory at work, indicating how a few minutes of physical activity can not only boost productivity at work but help avoid the ills that come from a sitting job- sore neck, back aches, stiffness and achy wrists. “1 in 6 workers in Great Britain suffer from mental health issues. To help reduce this, during 2017, we are focussed on helping create positive mental health for our workers!” (Source:

With The Great Britain Health and Wellbeing week 2017 just around the corner, we have created a list of easy-to-do exercises that you can incorporate into your work routine.

Stretch your body

Now don’t start doing squats at your desk! You can do a plethora of stretches while sitting down at your desk or while you are waiting for a cup of coffee at the vending machine. Let’s start with the body stretch first. Stand tall and reach both your hands over your head towards the ceiling, lift your chin up, tilt your head back and keep your back straight. Take a deep breath and feel the stretch. Breathe out slowly coming back to the normal position. You can try this sitting at your desk - an overhead stretch if you don’t want to get noticed while doing it.

Top 10 exercises to do at your desk

Workout for fingers

Stretch those wrists and fingers by taking your arm out in front of you. Keep the palm up and stretch the fingers with the other hand, pulling them towards yourself. For arms and shoulders, try reaching your arms behind you, lift them up and interlock your fingers. Feel the stretch in your arms, shoulders, elbows and fingers. Work these stretches in your schedule at regular intervals, for instance 5 stretches in a day of one minute each. That sounds like an idea!

Shrug those shoulders

Apart from client meetings, you can do a shoulder shrug practically anywhere in your office. Take a deep breath and bring your shoulders up towards your ears. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax. Shrugging is the most effective form of deskercise, as it doesn’t involve getting up from your seat. Also rolling both shoulders forward and backward in a circular motion helps increase flexibility and add strength. Neck rolls or simply shaking your head like you are saying “yes” or “no”, can help you feel less stressed for the remaining day.

Top 10 exercises to do at your desk

Try the “Wooden Leg” technique

Put your leg out straight in front of you, while sitting and hold it there for five seconds. Feel the stretch in your knees and thighs. Try raising up a little higher and then bring it back to normal. Repeat this exercise about 5 times as and when you find time throughout the day. Leg extensions like occasional calf lift and ankle stretch improve your core body strength.

Torso twist for a healthy back

Stand up from that chair you have been warming up all day. Place your hands around your waist and turn your torso towards the right and repeat the same with the other side. Do it 5 times, to get that stress out of your spine. While sitting, keep your feet firmly on the ground. Turn right to grab the back of your chair (if not the back, try reaching the opposite arm of your chair) and hold the pose for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Use that water bottle as dumbbell

Who needs a dumbbell when you have a full water bottle right there at your desk. Hold the water bottle tight in one hand and to curl it up towards your shoulder and bring it back to normal. Repeat the same with the other hand. Use it as a weight for front raises and overhead presses.

Put those legs to use

Slowly walking up and down stairs and skipping the elevator once in a while is one of the best ways to do some cardio exercise. Other ways to add movement to your day are going the long way for attending a meeting, substituting walks for emails, parking a little bit farther away from your office block and if possible using the bathroom that’s across the building instead of the one that’s by your desk.

Top 10 exercises to do at your desk

Stress ball squeeze

This is a bit of an old way to relax those hands and forearms but a very good way to increase productivity and bust work stress. This squeeze and release exercise helps release tension, boosts blood circulation and eventually combatting stress at work. Many organisations offer free stress balls along with many other workplace wellness gifts to the employees during the health and well-being week every year.

Sitting straight is itself an exercise

Sitting for too long is bad but sitting in a wrong posture is worse. We can eliminate problems like back pains and stiff necks, just by sitting properly. The sooner we get rid of the wrong sitting postures, the rounded backs and the slouching heads, the better it is for us. Sit correctly on your sit bones with pelvic support. Keep your lower back pressed against the back of your chair. It will distribute your body weight evenly and save your spine.

Organise standing meetings

Standing is not really a workout but it’s better than sitting in terms of increased physical movement and daily caloric expenditure. Get up from your chair as often as your work allows. Arrange standing meetings or do a walk-and-talk session once in a while. There are a lot of organisations that are beginning to offer optional standing workstations to employees to get rid of the desk culture. Studies show that standing lowers the risk of health issues like back ache, weight gain, diabetes and heart attack.

Top 10 exercises to do at your desk

These subtle workouts at your desk will slowly but surely bring a positive change in your physical and mental health. Craning over your keyboards for long hours is neither going to boost your productivity nor is it beneficial for the organisation you work for. If you overloaded with work, set a timer to remind you to take a break. Make these deskercises an integral part of your daily routine, but don’t do things beyond your capacity or more than your health allows.