Five Easy Desk Exercises


Finding time to fit in a little exercise can be difficult when running to pick up groceries, keeping the house together, and being a supportive spouse. Some military spouses that work from home or have found office jobs are tied to their chairs most of the day. I am one of those people.

Even when I didn’t have to get up and go into an office, I would do volunteer work online, which kept my butt in a chair for the most part. As my day progressed, I realized that I was feeling sedentary and would not be as focused as I needed to be. That’s when I decided I needed to do something.

According to the American Council on Exercise, “a brisk walk during a morning break or a cardio class at lunchtime balances neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain – substances responsible for influencing brain activity related to mood, attention, learning, motivation, and arousal.”

With that information, I started taking 2-3 breaks during working hours to walk or do a few exercises at my desk to help make me be a more focused and efficient.

tricep dips

tricep dips

Triceps Dips from a Chair

  • Grip the front of your chair with knuckles facing forward, and feet placed firmly on the floor, hip distance apart with knees bent.

  • Slide your hips forward off the seat of the chair, taking extra care if your chair has wheels.

  • Inhale, bending the elbows to lower the hips closer to the floor.

  • Exhale, straightening the arms, taking the hips back in line with the seat of the chair.

  • For an extra challenge, straighten the legs out in front of you with the heels resting on the ground.

  • Harder still, is to dip with one leg raised off the ground.

  • Complete three sets of 10.

bicep curls

bicep curls

Biceps Curls with Water Bottle

  • Sit on the edge of your chair with feet firmly planted in front of you, hip distance apart.

  • Grip a full water bottle with one hand, fingers pointing up.

  • Exhale, bending the elbow, bringing the water bottle to the shoulder.

  • Inhale, slowly straighten the arm, lowering the water bottle to your side with control.

  • Complete one set and switch arms, for a total of three sets of 10 on each side.

boat pose

boat pose

Boat Pose in a Chair

  • Sit on the edge of your seat, gripping the front or sides of chair.

  • Lean back slightly.

  • Raise one leg and then the other to a tabletop position, and hold for 10 slow, even breaths, squeezing the knees and thighs together.

  • Slowly lower one leg and then the other to the ground.

  • For an extra challenge, extend arms out in front of you.

  • Do three sets.



Wall Pushups

  • See InDependent’s pushup challenge. Depending on what you wear to work, you may be able to do one of the variations on the floor as well.

  • Complete three sets of 10.

Seated Stretching




  • Sit on the edge of you chair with feet firmly planted on the floor.

  • Extend one arm out in front of your at shoulder height, palm up. With the other hand, gently press the fingers of the outstretched hand toward the floor, stretching through the wrist and the forearm.

  • Hold for several breaths and switch sides.




  • Sit on the edge of the chair with feet firmly planted on the floor, ankles and knees touching and hands gripping the sides of the chair.

  • With a big inhale, sit as tall as you can, the crown of the head reaching for the sky.

  • On the exhale, begin twisting to the right from the base of the spine, taking the left hand to the outer right knee. The right hand can stay on the edge of the seat, or for a bigger twist, move it to the back of the chair.

  • Keeping the knees facing the front, continue twisting until maybe the shoulders face the right and the gaze looks over the right shoulder.

  • Take several long, slow breaths, and then inhale back to center.

  • Switch sides.

What exercises do you do at work to help keep you focused and alert?

Five Easy Desk Exercises

Five Easy Desk Exercises