Seated Exercises for on the Job

There are a variety of exercises one can do while sitting to stretch, loosen up and stay active even when you can’t leave your desk.  Exercise produces positive results such as elevated mood and energy levels, while also helping with circulation and mobility on the job.  If you have enough time you can do several sets of these exercises to make a workout, or they can be done periodically throughout your day.

*You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs.

Ankle and Wrist Rolls:
These can help with circulation in extremities.  First tense and relax your fingers before making them into a fist and, with each hand, make 10 rotations first one way, then the other.  Do the same with your feet, first stretching and relaxing them and then doing 10 rotations first one way then the other.

Calf raises:
Your calves help circulate blood from your feet back upwards.  Either one leg at a time, or with both simultaneously, raise your foot onto your tip toe and hold the position for 10 seconds, then release it.  Repeat 3 times or more for each calf.

Leg extensions:
This will work your thighs and helps with your core.  One leg at a time, lift your foot until it touches the underside of your desk, then slowly lower it down.  Repeat 10 times for each leg, alternating or doing one then the other, doing 3 or more sets for each if possible.  

Torso twists:
This engages your core and helps with spinal mobility.  Place your hands behind your head lightly with your elbows pointing out, take a deep breath, exhale and then twist first to your right as far as you comfortably can, inhale and come back to center.  Repeat for the left side.  Do this between 6 and 8 times, take a small break, then do it one more time.

Crunches:
This works your abdominal muscles and core.  First slide to the edge of your seat and extend your legs outwards, while leaning your back towards the backrest of your chair.  Lift your legs a few inches and lift your back a few inches and squeeze with your abdominal muscles.  Do this 10 times and for 3 sets if you want to feel the burn.

Arm stretches:
This helpful stretch can be accomplished by first reaching as far to the left with your right arm as you can, supporting it in the crook of your left arm, and then holding the stretch for 5 seconds.  Do this 6 to 8 times before repeating it the other way with the left arm.  Rest and do it one more time.

Arm circles:
This can help loosen up your shoulders and improve your posture.  Sit up straight and extend your arms straight out to the side, making a T.  With your palms down, do 20 forward circles with your arms moving up and down a foot or two.  Flip your palms up and do 20 backwards circles.  Rest and repeat this 2 or 3 times.