Desk-xercise: 5 Exercises to Stay Active While Working

Feeling some sort of back pain and other body aches that prevent you from working efficiently? We have just the solution for you! Read on to learn how specific practices can help you become productive while working from home!

Desk-xercise: 5 Exercises to Stay Active While Working

Since the start of the pandemic, remote set-up has been highly implemented by companies worldwide. Given the limited space and options for some, it’s hard to find ways to relieve the stress—both physical and mental.

Did you know that inactivity is a silent killer? Sitting for long hours during the day can be detrimental to your health. Movement helps a lot in our day-to-day activities as it helps us gain energy and motivation to work efficiently.

Even if your workplace is as ergonomic as it can be, sitting in a wearying position could still cause back pains, headaches, and fatigue as stated in The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book by Joan Price.

Below is a list of five exercises that you can do every day to relieve the tension and stress in your muscles. You can choose 2-3 exercises which are suitable for your set-up.

  1. Seated Leg Lifts

Whilst seated at your desk, lift both legs and hold for five seconds, then lower your legs back down to the floor without letting them touch the ground. Repeat this at least 15 times.

This exercise is one way to do a secret workout without many people knowing and not having to leave your desk. You can also add weight to your legs (rucksack, handbag, or briefcase) to increase the pressure and workout.

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Image from Stand-up Desk Store

2. Standing Calf Raises

While standing up next to your desk, steadily alternate between standing on your toes and rocking back onto your heels.

This is great for improving your blood circulation and balance. If it feels a bit challenging in the beginning, feel free to hold on to your desk while switching between your toes and heels until you feel more confident.

Image from Stand-up Desk Store

3. Shoulder Raises

Raise your shoulders up toward your ear, hold for 10 seconds then, relax. For an even bigger stretch, do one shoulder at a time, then alternate five times each.

The practice of doing shoulder raises is great for relieving tension in your neck.

Image from Healthline

4. Seated Spinal Twists

Sit on your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the left side and hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Aim to do at least three on each side.

Back twists, as the name suggests, is a great way to relieve tension on your back.

Image from Stand-up Desk Store

5. Triceps Dips

Use a chair with no wheels, and place it behind you. Place your palm on the chair with your fingers facing forward. Put your legs straight out in front of you with your heels flat on the ground. Lower yourself until your elbows are at a 45-degree angle with your shoulders.

Repeat this at least 10 times by returning to your starting position and lowering yourself again.

This exercise targets your triceps and chest.

Image from Healthline

Aside from these exercises, you can also try taking a walk outdoors after work or even in between your working hours. Especially if you’re working on-site, walking is something you could squeeze in your break time.


These days, they say “sitting is the new smoking”. Studies have shown that sitting, especially for prolonged periods of time, can be harmful. This has been linked to serious health problems.

Given this list, there is no more excuse for anyone not to be physically active and comfortable in the workplace! When you aim to be productive, it’s always an option to exercise in between your working hours. This helps you refresh, restart, and refocus both your mind and body--allowing you to perform efficiently at work. So, let’s aim to do some form of movement for every hour sitting in front of our desks!

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