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Deskercises – 5 Exercises To Do At Your Desk


One of the most detrimental work environments to people’s health and wellbeing is the ‘humble’ desk job. The damage from sitting all day, every day for many years has been compared to the negative health impacts of smoking, so it essential to mitigate this risk from as many angles as possible. One of these is by incorporating simple movements throughout the day to keep your joints free and flexible!

You can do these 5 exercises right next to your desk or you can walk off somewhere else to a quiet corner to move through them, the best bit is they are all easy to do in just about every environment.

Maybe you can encourage others to join in and start a ‘movement’ in your office!

Exercise 1 – Squatting

You can either push your chair back and squat unassisted or hold on to the desk to do this. The key here is getting your ankle, knee, hip and pelvic joints moving through their full range of motion. This exercise is about stretching your tissues more than building muscle.

1) Squat down as deep as you can go, feel the stretch up the back of your calf, across your knee and up your thigh and around the back of your glutes.

2) ‘Sit’ in the squat for a few seconds before coming up.

3) Even do a little bounce whilst you are down there if it is comfortable to do so.

4) Repeat 5-10 times.

Exercise 2 – Lateral (Side) Lunge

Throughout the day we tend to operate in the forward-backward plane of motion and our side to side actions are minimal. As such those tissues don’t get stretched often. A lateral (side) lunge is a great way to open up the inner thighs.

1) Stepping back from your desk, take a step out to the side in either direction and lunge directly sideways.

2) Remember this is about stretching the tissues so ‘sit’ in the stretch for a few seconds.

3) Return back to the middle

4) Then do the same in the opposite direction.

5) Repeat 5-10 times.

Exercise 3 – Free Up The Spine

This is all about loosening up the long chains of connective tissue up the front, back and sides of your body:

Here is how to do it.

1) Stand up tall and then fold forward to try to touch your toes, pausing at the end of range to get a little stretch up the back of the legs for 2-3 seconds

2) Then return up to standing.

3) Next bend back with arms over your head to get some extension through your spine and opening up of the chest and abdomen.

4) Repeat 5-10 times.

5) Lastly, with your arms out in front, twist your body side to side for 30 seconds.

Exercise 4 – Brugger Position

Working with your arms in front of you all day means that it is imperative to open your chest up and get some retraction of the shoulder blades.

Here is how to do it.

1) Sit at the edge of your chair.

2) Hold your head up high. Lengthen your body upwards by raising your chest as high as they can be.

3) Spread your legs slightly and turn them outward.

4) Turn your hands palms-up.

5) Rotate your arms outward as far as they can go so your shoulder blades squeeze together.

6) Hold this position and take deep “belly” breaths for 30 seconds.

Exercise 5 – Wrist And Arm Stretches

One of the first places we develop arthritis in our bodies is in our hands and fingers so it is crucial to try to remove tension that develops by working on the computer.

To do this:

1) Extend your arm out in front with the tip of your elbow pointing to the floor.

2) Then gently bend your wrist back by pulling on your fingers so they are pointing down to the floor as well (palm facing away from you).

3) Next turn your elbow up whilst keeping your arm straight and bend you wrist back so your fingers are pointing to the floor with your palm facing toward you this time.

4) Hold for 15-20 seconds in each pose, repeat on both arms twice.