Desk Stretches And Exercises (+Infographic)

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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 Quill.com

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