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Did you know that you burn 1000 extra calories per week just by standing at your desk for about four hour on the weekdays? This is only one reason, why many employers have bought their employees standing desks. There are many health benefits, and the potential increase of the employee’s productivity (for the employer). Unfortunately, many people think using a standing desk substitutes for at desk exercises. Read how you can incorporate easy desk exercises at work.


  1. What Are Standing Desk Exercises?
  2. Solutions To Not Feel Akward in Front of Your Colleagues
  3. Other Stand Up Desk Exercises to Try
  4. Other Options to Squeeze in Some Workout beyond at Your Desk Exercises
  5. References


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What Are Standing Desk Exercises?

These are desk exercises that target your legs, shoulders, and back. Why? Because it is a positive lifestyle change that can benefit you in addition to burning more calories.


Solutions to Not Feel Akward in Front of Your Colleagues

Some of the best desk exercises are those that your colleagues can’t see. Nobody wants to settle for being the health apostel. Many also feel uncomfortable to do jumping jacks, desk pushups, or torso twists, just to mention some classics. Therefore, here are some suggestions that aren’t obvious, no matter whether you work in a cubicle area at Microscope International or in a one-person office with glass windows to the aisle. At the university, I have such an “aquarium” office, and here are my favorite desk exercises at work.

  • Shift your weight from one foot to the other for a while.
  • Squeeze your glutals until it “hurts” and then release them. Doing so also helps to release stress.
  • Rise your heels to lift your calves. Stand on your ball of the foot for a while.
  • Walk in place.
  • Lift one side of your hip and release like you would do in Latin dances.
  • Stand on one leg for a while, then the other.
  • As before, but now holding the lower leg while standing on the other leg.
  • Roll your shoulder blades back.
  • Get a sitting ball. Put one knee on it to rest, while standing on the other leg. Switch after a while.


Other Stand Up Desk Exercises to Try

Nobody will blame you when you stretch. The following at desk exercises look like you are doing just that.

  • Therefore, behind your back clasp your hands together, and straighten your arms. Then lift your arms up to stretch them while rolling your shoulder blades back.
  • It opens your chest which is also good to avoid fatigue. Hold this position for 20 seconds or so.
  • Try a standing pelvic tilt and hold for 20 seconds.
  • Tilt your upper body to the right and left while keeping your hip in place.
  • Lift your arms to side, straigthen them, and then turn the inside up. Hold. Release
  • Roll your neck relax, and lean your head downward.
  • Fold your hands behind your head, and press your elbows back. Hold. Release.
  • Turn your chest without turning your hip.
  • Roll your shoulders back, one at a time.



Other Options to Squeeze in Some Workout beyond at Your Desk Exercises

Take a walk (with a colleague) during your lunch break. Get a small water bottle so you have to walk to the water fountain more often. Take the stairs. For all these you don’t need special gear.

Don’t forget that office exercises can’t replace your regular workouts. Nevertheless, they are very beneficial for your health. More on how to include workouts in a busy schedule.


Stylist tip for regular workouts:Workouts are more fun when you love your sports clothes



Pronk, N.P., Katz, A.S., Lowry, M., Payfer, J.R. (2011) Reducing occupational sitting time and improving worker health: the Take-a-Stand Project. Prev Chronic Dis., 2012 9:E154. doi: 10.5888/pcd9.110323. PMID: 23057991; PMCID: PMC3477898.

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