12+ Standing Desk Exercises You Can Do While Working
Published June 30, 2023
Human beings were made to move. Sitting at work (or anywhere else) for a long time is detrimental to your health. A sedentary lifestyle is said to cause many of the same health problems as cigarettes.
Prolonged sitting can increase your risk of long-term health problems. It can even disrupt your metabolism. It causes neck and shoulder pain and creates digestive issues in the short term.
So, if you are spending more time sitting, make sure to increase your effort to move around. Here are 12+ standing desk exercises you can try if you find moving about difficult.
1. Seated T-Spine Rotation – 8 repetitions for each side
Seated T Spine Rotation
Straighten your posture in your office chair. Keep your thumbs close to your temples and your elbows broad. Engage your abdominals by drawing your lower tummy in and twisting to the right from your core up. Return to the starting position and repeat to the left. Synchronize your movement with your breath—inhale back to center, exhale to twist.
2. Standing Hip Flexor Stretch – 30 seconds for each side
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
While balancing on your left leg, place the top of your right foot on the chair that is placed behind you. A significant stretch should be felt over the front of your right thigh and into your hip flexors. Repeat on the other side. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then release. (This requires no upper body movement. It is an excellent technique for video-conference meetings.)
3. Ab Rollout with Chair – 8-12 repetitions
Make your Own Ab Wheel! Rolling Chair Rollouts
Kneel on a mat or carpet, and then tuck your toes. With both hands, grasp the edges of your office chair. With a flat spine, begin rolling forward and extending your arms out to approximately 90 degrees with your torso. Utilize your core to re-establish your balance. Repeat.
4. Seated Hamstring Stretch – 30 seconds for each side
Seated Hamstring Stretch 1
To do a proper hamstring stretch, maintain a straight posture. Extend your right leg with your heel on the floor, and your foot flexed toward your knee. Your left leg should be at a 90-degree angle; plant your left foot on the ground. Then, with a flat spine, bend forward until your body is at a 45-degree angle or until you feel a stretch. Put your hands on the desk in front of you. This will provide additional support, allowing you to concentrate on loosening your hamstrings. Now do it on the other side.
5. Hollow-Body Holds – 3-5 repetitions for 30 seconds each
Hollow Body Holds
Seated in a chair, lean your torso back to a 45-degree angle. Lift your legs and flex your feet back to your knees the moment you inhale. Put your arms alongside your body, palms facing each other. Squeeze your legs into the middle and contract your abs. Continue to hold this position, but do not stop breathing. Repeat. (This is another excellent sneaky workout while on the phone.)
6. Stretch Squat – 8-12 repetitions
Plant your feet slightly wider apart than the distance between your hips. Maintain a firm grip on your desk. Then, lower into a squat by contracting your lower abdomen and tucking your lower back. Your back muscles should feel the stretch. Inhale to go back to starting position and exhale to squat. Repeat.
7. Elevated Plank – 30-60 seconds
Elevated Plank - Target Your Deep Ab Fat - Prevention Magazine
Place your elbows on soft surfaces. Adjustable ergonomic office chairs or a stack of paper on a countertop will help. Roll your shoulder blades behind and away from the ears. Do this while interlacing your fingers. Walk your toes back until you feel the stretch on your legs. Engage the lower abdomen and tuck the sacrum.
8. Elevated Push Up – 10-15 repetitions
Take hold of the outside edges of your chair or a nearby surface that is approximately hip height. Return to an Elevated Plank position with your feet. As you lower your torso toward the chair, bend your elbows and keep them close to your sides. Retrace your steps and repeat.
9. Elevated Knee Drives – 8 repetitions for each side
High Knee Drive
Bend your right knee and draw it up into your chest from an Upright Plank position. As it ascends, keep your other foot flexed. Retrace your steps and do it on the other side. Repeat.
10. Elevated Split Squat – 8-12 repetitions for each side
Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat
Maintain hands on the desk firmly. Put your left foot forward. Then position your right foot on the chair behind you, roughly 45 degrees from your right thigh. Squat down by bending your left knee. Repeat on the opposite side following your reps. (For a challenge, interlace your fingers behind your head. You can also squat with your arms next to your body rather than gripping standing desks.)
11. Seated Lat Stretch – 30-60 seconds for each side
Seated Lat Stretch
Seated in your ergonomic office chair, extend your right foot out and place your foot on the floor. Set your left foot down with your knee bent for support. Raise your arms high, twisting your biceps in (pinky fingers down toward the floor). Your biceps should be pulled back toward your ears. Your shoulder blades should be rolled down the back.
Next, engage your core. Bend forward 45 degrees. Stretch out with your fingertip, then place them on your upper back. Then slowly put them at your sides. Now repeat with the left foot out and the right foot bent.
12. Standing Calf Raises – 12-15 repetitions
Standing Calf Raise
To do a proper calf raise, hold on to your adjustable standing desk for support and maintain a tall spine. Next, lift onto your toes with an inhale, using your calf muscles. To release, exhale deeply. Repeat. (Try using a balance board to take this exercise to the next level.)
Now that you have an idea of how to do these 12 standing desk exercises and their possible benefits, try incorporating them into your 9-5 job—especially if you are working from home—to make sure that you keep your body moving. Remember to take care of your health, and that health is wealth!
13. Walk/Jog on Spot – 60 seconds or more
1 Mile Walking Workout | 15 Minute Workout
Keep your heart pumping. Walk or jog on the spot as if you are on an actual stroll. This will increase blood circulation and will help you stay awake. This standing desk exercise can also help you be more productive and avoid burnout.
14. Light Dancing – 60 seconds or more
30-Minute Low-Impact Dance Grooves Workout
Another exercise you can do at your desk is light dancing. Create a playlist and add all the songs you want to dance to. Dance on the spot to increase your heart rate. But remember to dance lightly without breaking your focus at work. This exercise will help you have more fun while working.
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