15 Easy Exercises That You Can Do At Your Office Desk

In the Office
(Last Updated On: October 30, 2017)

Do you spend long hours at your office desk working continuously? Does working for long hours at the office desk cause your neck, back, fingers, or hands to ache? If you answered in affirmative, then performing some easy-to-do exercises when at work can help you drive away your pain and discomfort in no time.

Given the present day working conditions, there is no escape from a sedentary lifestyle. And, spending long hours at your work desk is bound to make you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable to pain. In such circumstances, doing some simple yet effective exercises at your work desk can help you feel comfortable and keep pain, numbness, and other health troubles at bay. We bring to you some time-tested and effective exercises that will surely help you have a better work place experience.

Light stretches in chair

15 Easy Exercises To Do At Your Office Desk:

1. Toe Raises:

Drive away all stress and tension in your feet by doing toe raises when spending long hours at your work desk. All you need to do is keep your heels on the floor firmly and raise your toes when sitting in the chair. It relaxes your feet.

2. Calf Raises:

Release the tension in your lower body by performing calf raises. Stand in front of your work desk, lift your heels off the ground, and then lower them slowly. Hold on to the desk for support.

3. Hip Flexions:

Sit in your office chair straight upright, raise your left foot a few inches off the ground by keeping your left knee bent at 90 degrees, and hold on as long as possible. Repeat the same with your right leg.

4. Leg Extensions:

Perform leg extensions to release the tension in your legs that develop due to sitting for long hours at work desk. Sit in your office chair straight, stretch your right leg till its parallel to the ground, hold on this position as long as you can, and then slowly relax and get back to the initial position. Repeat the same with your left leg.

5. Shoulder Raises:

Shoulder raises help prevent stiffness and release strain and stress in your arms and shoulders. Raise your left shoulder to your ears, hold on this position counting 30, and relax and bring it down. Repeat the same with right shoulder.

6. Wrist Stretches:

Stretch your right arm out in your front, let the palm face the sky upwards, grab the fingers of your right hand with your left hand, and gently pull the fingers down till your forearms feel the stretch. Repeat this wrist stretch by stretching your left arm.

7. Hand Stretches:

Performing hand stretches relaxes the muscles of your hands, which you use to do desk work for long hours. Simply, make fists of both the hands, stretch out your fingers, and bend the fingers.

8. Chair Squats:

Perform chair squats to get rid of the discomfort developed in your lower body due to long working hours. Raise your rear end off your chair, hold on as long as you can, and then slowly lower your body and sit in the chair.

9. Chair Dips:

Place your palms on your sides and on your office chair, keep both the feet on the ground, move your lower body’s rear end off the chair’s edge, lower your body down by bending your elbows, and return to the initial position by straightening your arms and raising your body up.

10. Neck Rotations:

Neck rotations relaxes your neck and prevents neck pain and stiffness that you may suffer due to long working hours at office desk.

  • Look straight, slowly bring your chin down, and roll your neck.
  • Look straight, raise your chin upwards, and gently bend your neck to right and left.

11. Flapping Wings:

Make your arms feel comfortable with ‘flapping wings’ exercise when working at your office desk. Stretch your both the arms up and then stretch them back as far as you could. Bring them in front till they meet each other and stretch them out.

12. Water Bottle Weight Exercises:

Fill your water bottle fully with water and perform front raises, bicep curls, and overhead presses with the water filled bottle, when spending continuous long hours at desk.

13. Curls:

Sit straight upright in your office chair, cross both your arms over your chest, tense or stretch your abdominal muscles, and slowly curl both the shoulders back towards your hips. Hold on for some seconds and get back to initial position.

14. Abdominal Stretch:

Sit on the edge of office chair, extend your arms in the front and stretch them. Now, maintain your back straight and contract the abdominal muscles. Relax and return to initial position. Repeat it a few times.

15. Back Twist:

Sit in your office chair straight upright, bring your right arm behind, place it on your right hip, and twist your body to right and hold on. Repeat the same with your left side.

Bad posture at the work place is often a cause of pain in the long run. Consider availing the services of a physiotherapist if your pain does not go away following the above light exercises


  1. https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/tip-sheets/work-out-work
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4681919/
  3. https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/exercises/chair-dip
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474357/
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Manjiri loves to explore various facts, ideas, and aspects of life and pen them down in her own words. Writing is her passion, which means she enjoys writing on a vast variety of subjects, and health care is just one among her several specialty areas. She works closely with the Portea Health care team to churn out informative health content.


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