Desk Exercises

A collection of essential desk exercises for maintaining a healthy life.


6/5/202310 min read

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Essential Desk Exercises

Are you sitting behind a desk looking at your computer? Do you suffer from back pain, low energy, and lack of motivation? If so it is time to STAND UP! As a society, we've become accustomed to sitting. We sit for work, we sit to commute, and then we go home and sit and watch TV. But, it does not have to be this way. Although technology has led us to our seats, it can also help us combat a sedentary lifestyle.

In this article, we break down why sitting is so bad for humans and offer solutions to address this problem. From essential desk exercises to products that keep us active, we will teach you how to lead a healthy lifestyle while working a desk job. Read on seated comrades and let's tackle this problem together!

Consequences of Prolonged Sitting

Let's begin by breaking down how prolonged sitting affects us. Given an 8-hour day, this is what happens, biologically, hour by hour.

Hour 1: The blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart and other organs start to decrease. The cells become less responsive to insulin. The metabolism slows down and burns fewer calories. The muscles of the legs and glutes start to lose tone and strength.

Hour 2: The blood pressure and blood sugar levels start to rise. The cholesterol levels start to increase. The risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes starts to increase. The muscles of the hips and lower back start to tighten and shorten.

Hour 3: The mood and energy levels start to drop. Concentration and creativity start to decline. The memory and cognitive function start to impair. The posture starts to worsen and the spine starts to curve.

Hour 4: The risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome starts to increase. The risk of some cancers starts to increase. The muscles of the legs and glutes start to atrophy and degenerate. The joints start to stiffen and ache.

white round wall clock at 2:25
white round wall clock at 2:25

Phew, you made it to lunch...where you will likely sit. By this point in the day, you may be feeling 'stiff'. Your cognitive function is decreasing and your risk for cardiovascular and diabetes are increasing. Plus, the coffee is probably worn off by now. Onto the final four.

Hour 5: The risk of death from any cause starts to increase. The risk of heart failure starts to increase. The blood circulation and oxygen delivery to the legs start to decrease. The risk of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis starts to increase.

Hour 6: The mood and energy levels start to plummet. Concentration and creativity start to deteriorate. The memory and cognitive function starts to worsen. The posture starts to slump and the spine starts to compress.

Hour 7: The risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome starts to skyrocket. The risk of some cancers starts to skyrocket. The muscles of the hips and lower back start to spasm and cramp. The back pain starts to intensify.

Hour 8: The risk of death from any cause starts to skyrocket. The risk of heart failure starts to skyrocket. The blood circulation and oxygen delivery to the legs start to stop. The risk of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis starts to skyrocket.

To summarize, sitting all day is terrible for you both physically and mentally. Physically, it breaks your body down and increases your risk for a number of severe diseases. Mentally, sitting takes a toll as well. Your creativity, concentration, focus, and happiness all decrease. The risk of depression increases by 25%. Life satisfaction, self-esteem, and motivation all decrease.

Does this make you want to stand up? Are you thinking, "Maybe I should go for a walk?". Good! that's what humans are meant to do. We are meant to move and interact with the world around us! Now onto the best desk exercises we've found to help combat our problems with sitting.

Desk Exercises you MUST do!

At Best Tech Insight we believe that a desk job should not limit you to sitting and staring at a screen all day, so we've come up with a list of essential desk exercises to help you stay active and fit while you are working. Doing these exercises throughout your day will keep your body loose and your mind sharp. We recommend doing 3 sets of each of these exercises and building up from there. Let's get started!

1. Desk Pushups

Muscles worked: Chest and Triceps

How to do them:

  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart

  • Bend your elbows slowly to lower your chest to your desk

  • Push your body away from the desk until your elbows are extended

  • Repeat for 10 reps

2. Squats

Muscles worked: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, and Core

How to do them:

  • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed slightly out

  • Lower your butt as if you were going to sit in your chair

  • Return to starting position

  • Repeat for 10 reps

3. Oblique Twists

Muscles worked: Obliques, Abs

How to do them:

  • Sit in a swivel chair and place your hands on the desk

  • Spin yourself as far as possible in one direction and then switch

  • Repeat for 10 reps

4. Seated Leg Extensions

Muscles worked: Quads

How to do them:

  • Sit upright with feet flat on the floor

  • Lift one leg until it is parallel to the floor, squeezing your thigh muscle

  • Return to starting position

  • Repeat for 10 reps

5. Desk Plank

Muscles worked: Core, Arms, Shoulders

How to do them:

  • Lean against your desk with your core engaged

  • Hold this position for at least 30 seconds

6. Desk Donkey Kicks

Muscles worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, and Core

How to do them:

  • Stand and lean against your desk

  • Stand on one leg with the other leg bent at a 90-degree angle

  • Kick your bent leg back and up

  • Repeat for 10 reps

7. Tricep Dips

Muscles worked: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

How to do them:

  • Find a stable chair

  • Place palms on the chair and feet flat on the ground

  • Lower yourself using only your arms

  • Push back up to starting position

  • Repeat for 10 reps

8. Seated Leg Lifts

Muscles worked: Quads, Hip Flexors, and Core

How to do them:

  • Sit upright in your chair

  • Lift one leg off the chair and hold for at least 10 seconds

  • Repeat for opposite leg

9. Arm Circles

Muscles worked: Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps

How to do them:

  • Extend your arms

  • Make small circles in the air

  • Repeat for at least 30 seconds at a time

10. Standing Leg Curl

Muscles worked: Glutes, Hamstrings

How to do them:

  • Stand up and hold onto your desk or chair

  • Lift one foot off the ground raising it towards your butt

  • Repeat for the opposite leg

Essential Office Products for Health and Wellness

If you've gotten this far we hope to have convinced you that working at a desk job can take a toll on your health and fitness. Sitting for long hours, staring at a screen, and snacking on junk food can lead to weight gain, poor posture, and chronic pain. So in addition to the above exercise, there are also certain products that we recommend. These are products that our employees use on a daily basis and have had great success with.

To be transparent: These product links help cover the costs of running this blog. There’s no extra cost to you – and we only recommend products that our team uses personally and think are awesome. Thank you for your support!

Standing Desk

The first product every office employee must have is a standing desk. Standing for just a couple minutes per hour can greatly reduce the negative side effects associated with sitting. This is the first step to better posture, more overall strength, and increased happiness!

With many options on the market, we've link some of our favorites. Through some trials and tribulations, we've found that an electric standing desk is far superior to manual ones. The specific one we linked has a preset controller which makes transitioning from sitting to standing a breeze. There are many versions and models so make sure to choose the one that suits your needs. And always remember to measure your space prior to purchase! Happy Standing!



 Adjustable Standing Desk Large Adjustable Standing Desk Large

Under Desk Treadmill

This is our absolute favorite and essential office product on the market. All of our employees use this throughout the day and have had amazing result. From lower back pain relief to better mental health a walking treadmill is crucial for desk workers.

This device that allow you to walk at a slow and steady pace while performing tasks on the computer. Most of these start at .5 MPH. Even at this slow of pace you are able to burn calories, improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and enhance productivity and creativity. As humans we are made to walk and a walking treadmill can be a great option for desk workers who want to stay fit and healthy without compromising their work performance.


Under Desk TreadmillUnder Desk Treadmill

Under Desk Bike

While we love the under desk treadmill, we realize that this may not be the best product for everyone. Queue our runner-up, the under desk bike.

This under desk bike is designed to help you burn calories, improve blood circulation, and tone your lower body muscles. The one we chose features a smooth and quiet magnetic resistance system that can be adjusted with a dial to suit your preference. It also has a digital monitor that displays your time, speed, distance, and calories burned. The pedals have adjustable straps to fit different foot sizes and prevent slipping. The bike is compact and portable, with a handle for easy transportation and storage. Plus, it can fit under most desks and tables, allowing you to pedal while you work, study, or watch TV. There are plenty of different options to fit any budget, but our team has found that this one is affordable and built to last.


Under Desk Pedal ExerciserUnder Desk Pedal Exerciser

Nice-to-have Office Products

While the standing desk and the under-desk treadmill/bike are crucial products for maintaining health and wellness while working a desk job there are many more products out there! These products are not essential, but they can definitely enhance your office experience and help you stay healthy and happy. In this section, we will introduce you to some of the best "nice-to-have" office products that can improve your productivity, posture, mood, and more. Whether you’re looking for a way to move more, eat better, relax easier, or have more fun, we have something for you. Let’s get started!

Active Leaning Stool

Under Desk Elliptical

Exercise Bands

These resistant bands are a fantastic, affordable piece of equipment that you can store in your desk drawer. Not only will they help strengthen your glutes, but they will also help keep your hips and knees healthy. They also are great for relieving lower back pain caused by sitting all day. Plus, you will get the satisfaction of moving up in resistance! 3 different levels and a non-slip design make these resistant bands the way to go!

Want to stay active while working at your desk? Does the treadmill or bike take up too much space? If so, you might want to consider getting an under desk elliptical. This is a portable device that lets you move your legs in an elliptical motion while sitting down. It can help you burn calories, improve blood circulation, tone your muscles and reduce stress. Overall, an under desk elliptical can be a great addition to your home or office workout routine. It can help you stay fit, healthy and productive while sitting at your desk.

If you are looking for a comfortable and versatile office desk chair that can improve your posture, core strength, and mental focus, you might want to consider the this active leaning stool. This stool features a padded seat that can be easily adjusted from 18.5 to 28 inches in height, allowing you to use it with different desks and workstations. The non-slip, curved base enables you to rock, wobble, and tilt the stool in any direction, giving you an outlet for excess energy and stimulating your brain. The backless design encourages you to sit upright and engage your core muscles, which can help prevent back pain and fatigue.

Active Learning StoolActive Learning Stool
Under Desk EllipticalUnder Desk Elliptical
Resistance Bands SetResistance Bands Set

Balance Board

Exercise Ball and Bands

Adjustable Dumbbells

With adjustable dumbbells, you can easily switch the weight of the dumbbells by using a lever, a dial or plates. They are convenient, cost-effective and space-saving, as you don’t have to get or keep many sets of dumbbells with fixed weights. You can use adjustable dumbbells for various exercises that target your upper body, lower body and core muscles, such as squats, lunges, chest presses, bicep curls and more. You can also adjust your workout difficulty and stimulate your muscles in different ways.

This exercise ball chair is a versatile and ergonomic product that can help you improve your posture, balance, core strength and flexibility. It comes with an inflatable stability ring, a resistance band, a pump and a measuring tape. You can use it as a chair for your desk and a workout tool. The ball is made of anti-burst and slip-resistant material, and it can support up to 660 pounds of weight. Overall, this exercise ball chair is a fun and effective way to stay fit and healthy while sitting or working.

An under desk balance board is a device that you can use to add some movement and challenge to your standing desk routine. By using an under desk balance board, you can activate your core muscles, improve your posture, burn more calories, enhance your focus and reduce boredom. There are several different types of under desk balance boards, with varying degrees of difficulty but we like these. They are great for beginners as they are low to the ground and easy to store.

Balance BoardBalance Board
Exercise Ball ChairExercise Ball Chair
Adjustable DumbbellAdjustable Dumbbell
Person working a desk job
Person working a desk job

Health and Wellness from your Desk!

In conclusion, desk exercise and workout products are a great way to stay fit and healthy while working in the office. With stats like these we need to try and combat our sedentary lives now more than ever!

The above exercises and products can help you burn calories, improve your posture, relieve stress, and boost your mood and productivity. Whether you choose a desk bike, a balance board, a resistance band, or a treadmill, you can find a product that suits your needs and preferences. Desk exercises and workout products are not only good for your body, but also for your mind and spirit. So why not give them a try and see the difference they can make in your workday?

Best Tech Insight is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Best Tech Insight also participates in affiliate programs with other sites. PipSqueak Productions is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Please note that we are not responsible for any of the products listed on our pages and/or any product malfunctions. Please read the terms and conditions of the product before purchasing.

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Multicolored circular ring

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