Simple Exercises To Do When Sitting At A Desk All Day

If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, it’s important to make time for physical activity to maintain your health and well-being. Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to a range of negative health consequences, including increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and even premature death.

But finding the time and motivation to exercise when you’re already busy can be challenging, especially if you work in an office setting. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of simple exercises to do when sitting at a desk all day to help you stay active in your sedentary job!


Stretches for Desk Workers

Sitting for long periods of time can cause your muscles to become tight and stiff, leading to discomfort and even pain. To help alleviate these issues, it’s important to take regular breaks to stretch. Here are a few easy stretches you can do at your desk:

  1. Neck stretches: To stretch your neck, gently tilt your head to the left and hold for 15 seconds, then repeat on the right side. You can also try tilting your head back and looking up at the ceiling, or bringing your ear towards your shoulder.
  2. Shoulder rolls: To stretch your shoulders, sit up straight and roll your shoulders backwards in a circular motion. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
  3. Chest stretches: To stretch your chest muscles, place your hands behind your back and interlock your fingers. Lift your arms up and back, holding for 15 seconds.
  4. Wrist stretches: To stretch your wrists, extend your arms in front of you with your palms facing upwards. Gently press down on your hands with your opposite hand, holding for 15 seconds.

Check out this YouTube video for more examples of desk stretches in action!

Desk Exercises for a Mini Workout

In addition to stretching, there are a few simple exercises you can do at your desk to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. These exercises don’t require any equipment, so you can do them anytime, anywhere.

  1. Squats: Stand up from your chair and push your hips back as if you’re sitting down. Stand back up and repeat for 10-15 reps.
  2. Tricep dips: Place your hands on the edge of your desk and walk your feet out in front of you. Lower your body down towards the floor, then push back up. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
  3. Wall sits: Stand with your back against the wall and lower yourself down into a seated position, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 30 seconds, then stand back up. Repeat for 3 sets.
  4. Plank: Place your hands on the edge of your desk and walk your feet back, forming a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets.

If you want more tips on exercises to do at your desk, check out my post on exercises you can do while sitting at your desk.

Take Regular Breaks to Move

While these exercises are a great way to stay active at your desk, it’s important to also take regular breaks to move around and get your blood flowing. Set a reminder on your phone or computer to stand up and stretch every hour or so. You can also try going for a short walk during your lunch break or after work to get some fresh air and take a break from the screen.


Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is crucial for maintaining good health, especially if you spend most of your day sitting at a desk. These simple exercises can be done right at your desk and only take a few minutes to complete. By taking regular breaks to stretch and move, you can help alleviate the negative effects of prolonged sitting and improve your overall well-being.