8 Muscle-Building Desk Exercises

by Gwen Stewart

desk exercises

We’re excited to share this guest post from Gwen Stewart of! We knew that sitting at a desk all day was bad for our waistlines, but who knew it could so negatively impact our health? Check out her list of desk exercises to help combat the health effects of sitting all day.

Hey there, 9-to-5ers. Did you know that sitting at your desk for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health? According to a recent article published by Mayo Clinic:

“…researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns including obesity and metabolic syndrome – a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.”

Luckily, there are many exercises you can do at your own desk to help tone your muscles and burn calories:

1. Trade your chair for a yoga ball

Fitness experts advise using a yoga ball in place of your chair to improve your posture. With good posture comes increased core strength and an overall air of confidence as you’re walking through the office hallways.

2. Triceps push ups

For a toned upper back, sit on the edge of your chair with your hands resting on the front, then push your legs out in front of you to make reverse plank pose. Your body, the floor, and the legs of the chair should make a triangle. Push yourself up and down while bending your elbows slightly – and repeat as many times as you can.

3. Leg lifts

While sitting on your yoga ball (or a chair, if you’re not quite ready to make the switch), extend one leg straight out in front of you. Hold it in place for five seconds, move your foot back to the floor and rest. Then, repeat with your other leg. Alternate 4-5 times, trying to hold it just a few seconds longer each time.

4. Chair lunges

Sit on the edge of your chair and rest your hands on the armrests if you have them. If you don’t, rest them on the seat of your chair. Lift your body up so you’re supporting yourself with your hands, then move your hips forward – just off the chair. Bend your elbows and lower your hips and bottom toward the ground. Push yourself back up and repeat the series 10 times.

Helpful hint: If your chair has rollers, lock the wheels or if you can’t, push your chair against the wall.

Click here for the second half of the routine!

Image Credit: Desk Exercises photo via Shutterstock

Written by Guest Contributor

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