Many of us spend 8-10 hours a day sitting at a desk, which can wreak havoc on your back and joints. Below are some good office exercises you can do while you have some free time at work … with no equipment needed.
These office exercises and stretches can help you stay loose, energize your body when you need a quick break from work, and burn calories. And, exercising at work can actually help you increase productivity, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Best Office Exercises and Stretches
Any walking you can do at the office is beneficial. It gets the blood flowing, burns calories, and re-energizes you. Start by parking further away…the extra steps add up. Take a break every half hour to an hour and do a few laps around the office.
Stand up, feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Lower your body down, using your legs to support your weight and keeping your lower back arched. Repeat as many times as possible.
Hold arms out in front of you with palms facing each other. Squeeze your palms together as hard as possible, focusing on squeezing your chest muscles. Perform the exercise for as long as possible.
Place hands behind head. Pull shoulder blades together and back and hold for 15 seconds (stretches your chest and shoulders).
This is one of the best office exercises because it works your shoulders, chest, arms, legs, and core. Here’s how to do it: while sitting in your chair, set your hands on the chair next to your hips. Lift yourself and support yourself with your arms. Lift your legs up if you can, and hold the position for as long as possible. Repeat for 3-4 sets.
Sit in a chair, feet flat on the floor, knees about 12 inches apart, hands at sides. Bend over as far as comfortable, hands reaching toward or touching the floor. Hold for 15 seconds and then slowly pull your body back up into a sitting position while tightening your abdominal muscles (stretches your lower back and abs).
Gently bend the right hand fingertips backward using the left palm. Hold for 15 seconds (stretches your lower arms).
Bring arms across chest, trying to touch as far around the back as possible (like you’re giving yourself a hug). Hold for 15 seconds (stretches your shoulders and chest).
Slowly bend head to the right as far as possible, then to the left, then forward to the back, holding each stretch for 15 seconds (stretches your neck muscles).
While seated in your office chair, lift your legs up so your toes point at the sky. Hold this position for 3 seconds, and repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Stand up, raise up on your tip toes, then extend your arms overhead. Reach as high as possible for 15 seconds (works shoulders, arms, lower legs).
Warrior 2 pose:
This is one of my favorite office exercises. Warrior 2 is a yoga pose that’s great for building your core and is perfect to hep stretch out tight muscles while at work. To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Turn your right foot in slightly, and step out with your left foot. Squat your left leg down until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Extend your left arm out in front of you, while simultaneously extending your right arm behind you.
This is an advanced exercise but it’s one of the best ways to build tight, lean shoulders. Do a handstand and swing your feet up so they’re resting against the wall. Use your arms to lower your body until your head nearly touches the ground. Raise yourself back up, and repeat for as many reps as possible.
Want More Tips on Getting Tight and Toned?
This article is #3 in my free 12-part tutorial called “Exercise 101: How to Get In Shape“.
Next up is article #4, which will walk you through an awesome free bodyweight workout routine.
Or you can go back to article #2 and read about some Yoga Poses for Beginners.