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20 Desk Exercises to Stay Fit & Healthy

A typical day at work means spending long hours sitting in front of a desk. But if you think that you are tied to your chair and can do nothing to keep a fit & healthy body, you’re totally wrong!

With 640 muscles, 206 bones and 360 joints, there is no question that your body is designed to move and keep an active lifestyle. Sadly, this is not the case for most working adults, like the call center agents who have to spend almost all of their wake hours seated at work, at the dining area, while on commute, and even at home–the perfect formula to contracting lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart failure and circulatory problems.

Good to know, you can avoid a health disaster even while at work with the help of the exercises that you can do without leaving your desk. Want to know more? Here’s an infographic that presents 20 desk exercises that can tone your muscles, ease muscle tension, and relieve body pain.

Note: While the risk of injury and accident with these exercises is low, it’s still important to be careful in doing the routines. Only use sturdy and strong chair and desk. Lock the wheel of your chair to avoid unexpected movement and wear appropriate clothing.

20 Desk Exercises to Stay Fit & Healthy

1. Desk Dip

Develops triceps

Stand with your back against a sturdy desk and hold desk on its edge. Slowly, lower your body as you inhale by bending your elbow 90 degrees. Then bring yourself up again. Repeat at least 15 times.

2. The Kiddie Push-up

Develops chest muscle and biceps

This push up is way easier than your standard one. Do this by holding the edge of the desk slightly wider than your shoulder width. Do push ups while keeping your body straight.

3. The Nestea Dive

Releases tension from your spine and back muscles.

While seated up straight, stretch your body by raising your arms up and holding your hands together. Stretch your tired body to one side for 10 seconds and to the other side for the same duration.

4. The Police is Here

Tones your glute and thigh muscles

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold the back of your neck, as if a police officer would frisk you. Slowly lower your body by pushing your glutes back and bending your knees. Pause then slowly get back to your starting position.

5. The Can I Take a Look

Tones your calves and release tension from your legs.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly raise your body by lifting your heels. Pause for a second and lower down. Do this repeatedly as long as comfortable. Just make sure you won’t look as if you’re peeking through your colleague’s cubicle.

6. The Charging Bull

A cardio workout that also strengthens your calves and thighs.

On a slightly crouched position, simulate running by rapidly tapping your feet in place. Wear VR if you have so you won’t look weird. Do this for 15 seconds and slow down for 10 seconds.

7. The I’m Innocent

Releases tension from your upper back and relaxes shoulders

While seated on your chair, do the motion you usually do when you don’t know the answer by slowly raising your shoulders up to your ear, hold and then relax. Do this repeatedly. Shrug when someone asked you what you’re doing.

8. The “ Im Falling to Pieces

Stretches your spinal muscles and helps relieve back pain

While seated upright, reach the floor by rolling down your joints one at a time starting from your head.. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.

9. Lever Leg

Relaxes and releases tension from your legs.

While sitting in your chair, extend and raise your right leg up to your hip level. Hold as long as you’re comfortable then relax. Do the same for the other leg. Repeat the exercise 16 times.

10. The Propeller

Stretches your shoulder muscles

Raise your hands sideward with arms parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your body. Draw circles in one direction for a count of ten, then reverse circles for the same count.

11. Let’s Twist Again (like we did last summer)

Releases tension from your lower and upper back. A perfect stretching!

While sitting in your chair, turn to the right by twisting your torso, and as you turn, grab the back of your chair with your right hand and the armrest with your left hand. Hold your position, then slowly twist back to the other side.

12. Leg Hug

Relaxes your upper back

Sit on the edge of your chair.  Lean over and place your chest against your knees. Relax your neck while hugging your legs with your arms. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Then, release.

13. Reach the Unreachable

Stretches hamstring muscles and improves flexibility

Stand and put your right heel up on a chair. Reach for the unreachable right toe by leaning forward while keeping your standing leg straight. Do not bounce as you reach your toes and hold the position for 30 seconds or as long as comfortable. Then, switch leg.

14. The Walling Drama

Strengthens legs lower back.

Lean with your back against a wall and keep feet flat on the floor. While leaning against the wall, bend knees and slide down until your legs are in 90 degrees position. Hold your position for 30 seconds or as long as comfortable.

15. Squeeze ‘till it Bursts

Targets thigh muscles

While sitting tall in your chair, press knees against each other. If you feel uncomfortable, use rolled towel as cushion in between knees or an exercise ball if you have. Hold the position for 30 seconds or as long as you’re comfortable.

16. Fly High

Relaxes upper back and shoulders

Sit at the edge of your seat, clasp hands behind. Stretch your chest out, face up to the sky like you’re going to fly. You can close your eyes to complete the sequence. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds or as long as you’re comfortable.

17. Knee Hug

Stretches hip and knee flexor for improved motion and more endurance

Celebrate your being single by hugging your knees. Do this while seated close to the edge of your chair, and reclining on your back rest. With your two hands, slowly raise your right knee against your chest, repeat this 15 times. Then switch knee.

18.  The Quality Inspector

Releases tension from the neck

Sit up straight and start inspecting the quality of your office wall by slowly leaning your head forward and roll to one side. Hold the position for up to 20 seconds. Do the same to the other side. Repeat the steps for three repetitions.

19. Contortionist’s Prep Routine

Stretches shoulders and helps release tension

Sit up straight and raise your right elbow behind your head. Hold it in position with left hand for 20 seconds. Do the same for the left elbow. Then you’re off to do contortionist tricks.

20. Yoga Levitation

Tones chest and triceps

Prove that you’re a yoga guru by levitating from your chair. Do this by holding the armrest of your chair and lifting your legs in meditating pose. Hold for 30 seconds or as long as comfortable. You can chant some mantra if you like.

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  • 20 Desk Exercises to Stay Fit & Healthy

    A typical day at work means spending long hours sitting in front of a desk. But if you think that you are tied to your chair and can do nothing to keep a fit & healthy body, you’re totally wrong! With 640 muscles, 206 bones and 360 joints, there is no question that your body […]

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