5 Ways To Get Fit Without Leaving Your Desk
5 Ways To Get Fit Without Leaving Your Desk
FitnessApril 26, 2023 5 Ways To Get Fit Without Leaving Your Desk By Becky Stafferton If your job involves sitting at a desk for long periods of time it can be much harder to fit movement into your day…. Read More

If you have a desk-based job, you might feel like there is no way for you to fit exercise into your day. You're not alone. Many of us are working longer hours, and the idea of fitting in a yoga class or a workout after work sounds overwhelming or even impossible.

But did you know that all of that sitting isn't doing you any good? It can cause bad posture, stress on your joints, weight gain, and more. The question is: what can you do about it? Well, the good news is that you can get fit without leaving your desk!

Here are five ways you can get fit without leaving your desk:

Desk Exercise Equipment

There are many different types of desk exercise equipment available these days, and most of it is very discreet, so you don't need to worry about your boss thinking you're slacking! While desk exercise equipment won't get you out of breath, it will help you move, burn calories, and tone your muscles.

You can target the lower half of your body with most desk exercise equipment, and these machines will fit snugly under your desk. Exercises such as cycling and walking can all be carried out from the comfort of your office chair, allowing you to quite literally get fit while you sit.

No matter what your job is — whether you're a data analyst, a telemarketer, a writer, a student, a help desk operator, a graphic designer, or any other job that involves sitting at a desk — you can easily use desk exercise equipment without impacting your work. In fact, aside from all the physical benefits of exercising at your desk, you are also likely to be more productive, creative, and less stressed, which translates into being better at your job. Perhaps rather than hiding desk exercise equipment from your boss, you should be encouraging them to buy some for the whole team!

Desk Yoga

Anybody who works a desk job knows how stiff and achy it can make you feel come the end of the day. You've been sat in the same position for eight hours, and your body is feeling it!

Incorporating office yoga into your working day will help stretch your muscles out, ease any stress that may have built up in your body, and relieve the tension that comes from keeping your body in the same position for a long time. Simple yoga stretch moves can be done from your desk, including:

  • Shoulder rolls
  • Seated forward bend
  • Neck rolls
  • Open chest stretch
  • Wrist and finger stretch
  • Seated twist
  • Cat/Cow stretch

All of these moves can be done from your chair, so aim to fit a stretch in every time you take a break from your screen.


Our posture can be negatively affected when we spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, especially if your workstation hasn’t been ergonomically assessed. If your screen isn’t at the right eye height, your keyboard isn’t at the right angle, or your chair is uncomfortable and not set at the right height or angle for you, it can cause long-term issues.

Core strength and good posture are essential for allowing us to continue to exercise as we age. Thus, it is vital to consider when working at a desk for long periods of time. Yoga and Pilates can help build up your core strength, which, in turn, improves your posture and strengthens your muscles. So, having a go at those desk yoga moves will certainly help you. But what can you do to help your posture when you’re sitting at your desk?

Sitting on an exercise ball is a great way to hold your body in a good position because the unstable surface of the ball forces you to hold your core steady so that you don’t fall off. That’s all well and good when you work from home, but bringing an exercise ball into the office might get a few funny looks. So instead, let’s focus on how to sit on your chair correctly:

  • Ensure your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Keep your legs, knees and ankles uncrossed.
  • Make sure you leave a small gap between your knees and the seat of the chair.
  • Check that your knees are either at the same height or slightly lower than your hips.
  • Keep your ankles in front of your knees.
  • Relax your shoulders.

Brain Games

It’s not just our bodies that need a workout; our brains need one too. While doing your job is already working your brain, brain games can help work it out further. A good workout involves a cool-down at the end to improve the recovery rate and to help relax, and that's no different when it comes to a brain workout.

If you’re feeling frazzled at work, take some time out from what you’re doing and instead give yourself a short mental workout in the form of brain games. This could include doing a crossword, word search, sudoku, or downloading a brain game app on your phone to help guide you through specific brain training tasks. But remember, that brain of yours also needs a rest, so take some time off during your lunch or coffee breaks to help recharge enough to power through the afternoon.

Use Your Desk

If you don’t have access to any desk exercise equipment, don't worry. It’s time to think outside the box and look around your workspace to see how you can make your surroundings work for you.

There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that can be done using your desk or chair. This is particularly useful if you're starting out on your exercise journey and feel like you’re a bit wobbly and need extra support. All of these exercises can be incorporated into your working day without leaving your desk area:

  • Squats – Hold onto the edge of your desk, keep your back straight, feet a little wider than hip-width apart, your hips placed over your knees, and your knees placed over our ankles. Start off with 10 and slowly build up to more as you become a pro.
  • Leg raises – Sitting upright in your desk chair, bend one leg and extend the other one out. Flex the foot of your extended leg and slowly raise the leg until it’s approximately one foot away from the floor. Slowly slower and repeat, remembering to swap legs halfway through.
  • Plank – We’ve all done planks on the floor, but you might get in the way of your work colleagues if you do that! Instead, place your hands on the surface of your desk, keeping your feet on the floor and push your body away from the desk. Hold the position for as long as you can and then slowly release.
  • Push-Ups – Get into the same position as your desk plank, but this time push your body up and down so that your chin meets the surface of your desk.

Finding time to exercise when you work a desk job can be challenging. However, after reading this, you'll realize that it's not impossible. Whether you choose to use desk exercise equipment, try out some brain games, or work on strengthening your posture, there are many ways you can get fit without leaving your desk.

Have You Got Some Ideas Of How To Stay Fit Without Leaving Your Desk?

I’d love to hear about them, so get in touch:

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  • Twitter – @ArtHealthLiving
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  • Or leave me a comment below.

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