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August 21, 2020 / Nicole Villeneuve

5 Exercises to Do at Your Home Desk

Smiling woman doing dip exercises at her desk in her home

With more companies adopting work from home policies for their employees, many people are rethinking the way they work. Moving your workspace from a formal office to your home can be challenging. Perhaps you had a standing desk or an ergonomic chair, but now you’re left to figure out a home office setup that enables comfort and productivity.

For many office workers, companies provide standing desks to help encourage movement and prevent long hours of sitting. Studies have found that standing at an adjustable workstation may help with back and neck discomfort and even increase productivity. While that may not be considered exercise at your desk, it’s one way to keep your body from being sedentary.

If you’re working in a remote environment, there are still a number of ways to promote health and wellbeing during the workday. Sometimes, even a simple home yoga sequence is enough to get your body moving.

Whether it’s a standing desk, a walk around the block, or simply stretching, finding a way to move throughout the day is key to your health. To help you out, here are five tips for how to do exercises at your desk that can help prevent you from feeling stagnant while staying productive.

Benefits of Desk Exercises

Movement is vital to keeping your body and mind feeling good. Yet, with sedentary jobs having increased 83 percent since 1950, many people are finding it difficult to fit adequate movement and exercise into their days.

Thankfully, spurts of regular movement throughout the day can reap amazing benefits–and it’s important even for people that are active outside of working hours. Adding in desk exercises may:

How can you enjoy these benefits, especially from a remote work environment? Here are a few easy ways to do exercise at your desk at home.

5 Easy Desk Exercises to Stay Energized

The great part about doing exercises at your home desk is that you don’t need equipment, a gym, or a lot of space to raise your heart rate. Just a bit of a cardio burst or other movement can jumpstart your body, wake you up, and help you feel ready to tackle the rest of your workday.

1. Desk Stretches

This is an especially useful desk exercise if you do have a standing desk. You’re already up and ready to go. Even if you’re sitting, there are a number of helpful stretches to improve mobility.

Standing stretches

Woman standing at her computer stretching her leg

Here are a few easy stretches to do at your workstation. You can even use your desk as a helpful prop:

Seated stretches

Woman sitting at her desk with her arms outreached above her head

Try a few seated stretches every half hour or so, in between your standing breaks:

2. Desk Push-Ups

Woman doing a desk push up at her home office

Wake up your shoulders, chest, and wrists with a few rounds of desk push-ups.

Try a few and increase reps as you’re able to. Do a few rounds and follow up with a good shoulder stretch

3. Jump Around to Get the Blood Pumping

There are many ways to incorporate jumping into a desk exercise routine. Plyometric movements like jumping may help keep your heart healthy, strengthen muscles, burn calories, and increase blood flow:

One of the great aspects about each of these desk exercises is that they can be modified:

Regardless of the intensity level, your body will be grateful for the extra movement.

4. Plank for Core Strength

Man doing a plank exercise at home while he is working at home

Sitting at a desk can lead to tighter glutes and hip flexors (muscles in the front of hips), and weaken the core, especially if you find yourself hunching forward. Keeping your core strong may help alleviate lower back sensitivity and improve posture, especially when sitting.

To keep your core (all the muscles in the center of your body, not only abdominal muscles) strong, and give your shoulders a nice wakeup call, try plank pose:

If you’re still working on core and shoulder strength, try the plank exercises with your knees down. Continue to engage your lower belly, legs, and upper body, but with the added support of your knees. As you build strength, try it with knees lifted.

5. Keep Your Arms and Shoulders Moving

Woman at her desk stretching her arms out in front of her

Even though your fingers may be typing away, your wrists, arms, and shoulders can get fairly tight after being in the same position at your keyboard. Repetitive motions such as typing are common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause pain in the hands and wrists. With a few minutes of simple exercises you can do at your home desk, you may be able to prevent some of the nagging effects of using a computer:

Use Ergonomic Office Supplies for a Healthy Workspace

Woman at a stand up desk in her living room at her house working on a laptop

Desk exercises are a great addition to your work routine, but even when you’re not moving, you can support your body to help prevent stiffness and soreness. The following supplies are a great addition to your desk space, whether you’re at home, or in an office:

The Takeaway

After you’re done with the workday, don’t forget to celebrate. Turn on your favorite tunes, do a little dance, or take a quick walk around the block. To really keep things moving, pair your desk exercises with an at home HIIT workout in the morning or evening. You’ll feel energized and ready to take on the next workday while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Moving your body is an important part of each day, but so is nourishing yourself with delicious, whole foods. At PlateJoy, we love helping people create custom healthy meal plans and grocery lists that enhance their quality of life with amazing recipes for any diet. Whether you work from home or in an office, sign up for a free trial today to see how a personalized meal plan can add convenience to your daily routine.

Nicole Villeneuve
Director of Content @ PlateJoy

Nicole Villeneuve is the Director of Content Strategy at PlateJoy and a certified Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. A graduate of Yale University, she previously worked in book publishing, with a focus on cookbooks and health, and ran the food blog Paper and Salt. Her writing has been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and The Daily Beast. Nicole lives in San Francisco and loves cooking, reading, exploring new restaurants, and running by the ocean. You can (very occasionally) find her on Twitter.

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