Deskercise! 5 Easy Exercises You Can Do While Sitting At Work

illustration by: daiana ruiz

Let’s face it, no matter how active a lifestyle you may have, we all spend a large portion of our time during the day sitting on our butts. Whether on the drive to work, completing tasks at the office or catching up with reality TV in the evening, it’s easy to spend most of your waking hours sitting without even being conscious of it. While research has linked extended periods of sitting to such health conditions as obesity, high blood pressure and excess body fat around the waist, it can be hard to escape having to do so at work, especially if you don’t work in the startup world where standing desks are always an option.

To help you break you free from the monotony of your cubicle, here are five exercises you can do while seated at your desk. Yeah, it’s that easy! To avoid looking like a health-crazed maniac, add some competition to it and challenge your officemates to see who can complete a circuit of these exercises the fastest.


Believe it or not, you can strengthen your core considerably while at work. Move close to the edge of your seat, straighten your legs out and lift them a few inches off the ground while raising your back a few inches from the backrest of your chair. Hold this position for 10 seconds or until you start to feel a burn in your abdominal muscles. Three sets of eight to 12 reps of this exercise should definitely wake those core muscles from their slumber.

Oblique Twist

Place your hands behind your head and take your right elbow and twist your body so it touches your left knee. Repeat the same move so that your left elbow touches your right knee. You want your abs to contract while doing these motions. Do three sets of eight to 10 reps.

Chair Dips

This one can be a little risky if you happen to be in a chair that rolls or it can also test your balance and core strength. Sit on the edge of your seat and place your arms to your side. While gripping the armrests, shift your body weight forward and lower yourself down from the chair. Hold your declines for three to five seconds before pushing yourself back up onto the seat. Three sets of 10 reps should be enough to warm those shoulders and triceps.

Leg Lifts

Start with both feet flat on the floor. Extend your right and left leg out straight while keeping your entire leg flexed until the tip of your toes hit the underside of your desk. Do three sets of 10 of these.

Arm Stretches

There is nothing like a good stretch to help improve blood flow and keeping those muscles strong and flexible. Extend your right arm and reach across your body and hold for five seconds. Repeat this action with your left arm for two sets of five.


Just because your job keeps you seated close to eight hours a day doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it by trying to incorporate a few exercises to keep you from stiffening up. While these are just a few exercises, we would love to hear from you on any exercises you do while at work!

About the Authorimg_8645

The work of Chicago-based writer Christopher Cason has appeared in such as GQ, SLAM, Nice Kicks and various others since 2008. When not in some cafe crafting ideas, he's most likely in some gym, trying to hang on to his hoop dreams and stay in the best shape possible to climb stairs without getting winded.