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3 Exercises to Do at Your Desk

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A widely accepted thought is that the average person spends about one-third of their life at work. When that large portion of your day is spent at a desk, it can be difficult to get enough exercise. I’ve looked high and low and tried just about everything in-between, to find exercises that help keep me feeling active and energized all day. For Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, I’d like to share my favorites with you!

Arm Circles

A group of people in an exercise class move their arms in circles during warm-up exercises.

Don’t be fooled! Arm circles can be deceptively difficult when you first start, and a great way to quickly feel the burn.

Instructions

According to Healthline, to do a proper arm circle work out:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms parallel to the floor.
  2. Circle your arms forward using small controlled motions, gradually making the circles bigger until you feel a stretch in your triceps.
  3. Reverse the direction of the circles after about 10 seconds.

If you want to challenge yourself even further, grab a small amount of weight, such as a water bottle, in each hand to increase resistance. Speaking from personal experience, make sure you are clear of potential points of impact. Including coworkers.

Chair Dips

Side View Of A Young Businessman Doing Triceps Dips In Office

Right away I should add a disclaimer that a rolling chair may not be your best option for this exercise. You can easily substitute it with a bench or any other stable surface of a similar height.

Instructions

Again taking advice from Healthline:

  1. Sit on your chair or bench with your arms at your side and your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart.
  2. Position your hands so that your palms are down beside your hips. Your fingers should grip the front of the chair seat.
  3. Move your torso forward off the chair with your arms extended. Your buttocks should hover over the floor and your knees should be slightly bent. Your heels should touch the floor a few inches in front of your knees.
  4. Breathe in as you slowly lower your body, hinging at the elbows until each forms a 90-degree angle.
  5. Breathe out as you push up to your starting position with your arms fully extended.

These dips can be a challenge if you are just starting out, so pace yourself while you build up your strength.

Squats

Young business people doing squats at a casual office.

Yes, the dreaded squat! While this exercise seems to be the bane of many people’s existence, it is one of my favorites. The legs and the glutes are the biggest muscles in the body, so it’s important to work them out!

Instructions

According to Real Simple:

  1. Stand with feet a little wider than hip-width, toes facing front.
  2. Drive your hips back—bending at the knees and ankles and pressing your knees slightly open—as you…
  3. Sit into a squat position while still keeping your heels and toes on the ground, chest up, and shoulders back.
  4. Strive to eventually reach parallel, meaning knees are bent to a 90-degree angle.
  5. Press into your heels and straighten your legs to return to a standing upright position.

There are a ton of variations for squats, so take a look around and find one that fits your goals.

Conclusion

Paired with proper ergonomics in the office, these exercises can be a huge help to your overall health. Everyone has different fitness goals, so there is no one-size-fits-all regimen. I love pairing these exercises with my regular workouts to keep my blood pumping and energize me throughout the day. If you want more options to choose from, check out the additional resources below for more helpful information.

Additional Resources

9 Exercises You Can Do in Your Office

Ergonomics

No Weights Required Office Workout

About the Author

  • Will Bauer joined the CNIS team in July of 2021. Born and raised in Nebraska, Bauer spent time volunteering with organizations around the country and internationally. With multiple years of experience in the Insurance and SaaS industries, Bauer brings a passion for creating useful content.

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