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Desk Stretches And Exercises

Desk stretches and exercises are my new favorite thing to keep me mobile with my increased workload

Working, writing and blogging is going great which is good for the bank balance but terrible for my health. They say that sitting is the new smoking and since most of us end up spending all day sitting, even if you work out for an hour a day, sitting for the rest could be negating your hard work. It can definitely be a problem but it is easily solvable by using desk stretches and exercises to alleviate some of the problem and you can burn some extra calories while working!


Stretching is important when you’re sitting for long periods of time. Sitting too much throughout your life can lead to blood clots forming in your legs and for those who are overweight or pregnant it can increase your risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) which is definitely not good! If those clots break loose they can actually travel to your heart and kill you so at the very least you should be doing these desk stretches!!

Intermittent Standing

Stand up and sit down without using your hands to help. Don’t push yourself up off the desk with your hands, just stand up and sit down a few times in a row. You could even do this one while you’re on the phone. No one will notice.

Shoulder Shrugs

Inhale and lift your shoulders as high as you can. Hold the shrug position for a few seconds and exhale while dropping your shoulders.


Nod your head yes and no slowly but repeatedly for 20-30 seconds, this can help release tension in your neck.

Knee Hugs

Sit on the edge of your chair and bend down like you’re grabbing something from the ground. Get your head as close to you can to your knees and hug your legs. Hold this position for a few seconds to stretch out a tired back.

Hand Stretches

Stick your hand out in front of you with your palms facing the ceiling. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers and hand down toward the floor and your body. Hold for a few seconds, and repeat multiple times on each hand.

Ankle Holds

While sitting, point your toes and foot to the floor and hold for 2 seconds, now point it to the sky, hold, point to the left, hold and point to the right. Repeat this with both feet a few times to stop getting dead legs or numb feet and promote blood flow.

Arm Stretches

Put one arm out in front of you and place it across your body, use your other hand to pull your arm across your body at the elbow until you feel the stretch. Keep the crossed arm straight and the rest of your torso facing forward. This can be done standing or sitting.


If you’re working longer hours and can’t find the time to exercise, you can try out some of these that you can do at your desk. Just because you’re working doesn’t mean you can’t work out and it definitely helps to keep you mobile!

Jumping Jacks

Stand up and do jumping jacks for one minute. It’s great cardio and even if you may look a little silly to your coworkers, just remember they’re not burning any calories judging you!

Running Taps

While sitting, simulate running in place. Tapping your feet for a few minutes at a time. Try to increase the length of time each set.

Leg Raises

Sitting in your chair, extend your leg in front of you and hold for a few seconds. Now bring your leg down, just above the floor, and hold for 15 seconds.

Desk Pushups

If your desk is solid enough to support your weight, stand at an angle and place your hands on your desk. Simulate slanted push ups. Just please be sure your desk can handle it and won’t tip over!

Arm Climbers

Sit tall in your chair and raise both arms like you’re trying to touch the ceiling. Hold this position for a while and then reach your right arm higher, then the left. Repeat.

Standing Side Crunches

You can work your love handles at your desk too! Stand up straight and keeping a tight torso, gently crunch down one side aiming not to arch your back. Return to center and repeat the other side.

Working from home or being chained to a desk at your day job can really take a toll on your body. If you can take a few minutes out of your day to try some of these desk stretches and exercises, you’ll be healthier by stretching and burning some calories in the process. Let me know if you try any of these and what you thought of them. If there are any desk stretches and exercises that you do, share them down in the comments! I love swapping ideas! Thanks for coming by!

*Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before changing your lifestyle or starting any new stretches or exercises*

For a Handy Visual Reminder here is a cool infographic I found from

You may also like these Pinterest Boards

For those with a busy working lifestyle or who spend a lot of time sitting, these desk stretches and exercises will help get your exercise on at work.

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Written by Charlotte

Founder at The Mummy Toolbox


  • CourtneyLynne (#)
    March 28th, 2017

    Oooo so many awesome suggestions!!! I’m someone who sits at a desk all day so I really should apply some of these to my day to ease my back pain!

  • Rachel (#)
    March 26th, 2017

    These are great. I feel like I just get stuck at my desk for so long and it is nice to get up and take a break.

  • Dawn McAlexander (#)
    March 26th, 2017

    I need to start trying some of these stretches. I get so stiff sitting at my desk for so long. Plus, it is just good for you to stretch every once in a while.

  • Angela Ricardo Bethea (#)
    March 25th, 2017

    This is so inspiring. Thanks for the reminder that sitting is also like smoking which is bad for your health. These are lovely suggestions!

  • Jeanine (#)
    March 25th, 2017

    What great ideas. I spend so much time sitting at my desk, this could be so useful for me! Great reminder to move move move!

  • Kecia | From Mom's Desk (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    These are great ideas to stay active if you have a desk job. I try to remind myself to get up and walk for 15 minutes each 45 minutes. But still, moving around at your desk is beneficial too.

  • Missy Burson (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    I’ve set my Fitbit to remind me to move at least once an hour because I get to working at forget to take breaks. These are great ideas to move without even leaving your desk!

  • Morgan (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    I love this. Sometimes I get so into my work that I forget to move around in between, then I regret it when I am done, these little exercises will be a great way to keep loose.

  • Lydia (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    This post is perfect for me! I don’t have a desk job, but sit for a while for school and blogging. I would love to try running taps, they sound pretty easy!

  • Blythe (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    Great advice. I try to get up every few hours to give my mind, eyes, and body a break. Going for a walk around the office or around the block, or even running to Starbucks can give your body some relief.

  • Crystal Green (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    These are some really good exercises to try. I’m a bit surprised you didn’t mention using a balance ball chair as well.

  • Cynthia @craftoflaughter (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    I seem to spend a lot of time at my desk when I’m designing new products and I get so tight. I love the idea of your stretches and plan to incorporate them into my desk time!

  • Roxanne (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    These are great! I work from home and sitting in front of a desk a few hours a day! I’ll have to add some of these into my work day.

  • Theresa (#)
    March 24th, 2017

    I wouldn’t have thought to do these exercises from my desk! These are all really great ideas.

  • Vicky (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    Many great ideas to keep you moving and to keep from getting stiff. I work at home at a desk and take a few minutes every hour or so to walk around and get the blood flowing.

  • The Spirited Sloth (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    This came at the perfect time! Since I’ve been blogging and freelancing and working from home more than ever, my knees and hips have been getting sooo sore from just sitting all day. I get up and walk and do yoga but I need to find a better way to sit and I think this is it! Thank you!

  • Terri (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    I just built in breaks for my at home work sessions! Thanks, I wish I had a printable version to put on my desk!

  • Rose Sahetapy (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    These tips can even be applied as daily exercise regardless we need to spend hours sitting or not. I literally nod my head a few times while reading the nodding exercise.

  • Amanda Love (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    It’s really important that we keep ourselves active especially if we work sitting in front of a computer all day. These are pretty awesome exercises. I really like the idea of doing stretches from time to time.

  • Gail M Akeman (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    These are great ideas for me to exercise even while at my other job not just at home blogging

  • Journa Ramirez (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    These are great tips! I haven’t tried knee hugs and ankle hold yet..should try them out right now! 🙂

  • Nikki (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    This is a great tool for people who work at a desk a lot. My doctor told me I needed to start walking or getting up for 5 minutes for each hour that I am sitting because I have a tendency to sit all day long only getting up for the bathroom. I will try out some of these exercises!!

  • robin Rue (#)
    March 23rd, 2017

    This is perfect for my husband at work. He is always telling me that he needs to get up and walk every little while because he can’t sit still for that long.

  • Sue (#)
    March 22nd, 2017

    Great exercises thanks Charlotte. It is so important not to be sitting for long periods and these exercises are for anyone. Great reminder.

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