These 5 Exercises Can Be Done at Work (Because You're Probably Sitting Too Much)


Geri Hirsch

Although the typical day job is a whole lot of work, there usually isn't a whole lot of movement involved. Sure, the eyes routinely get exercise by darting from one open tab to another, but the rest of the body usually stays in one sedentary position. In fact, one 2016 study says that the average American sits nine to 13 hours a day. Therefore, it's a no-brainer that we should move more, but that doesn't necessarily have to happen before or after we leave our desks.

"There are so many benefits to adding a little movement to your workday," Karena Dawn, the co-founder of Tone It Up with Katrina Scott, says. "You'll improve your posture, keep your energy up, and with a few simple exercises, tone right at your desk."

If you're thinking that a desk workout would either be embarrassing or ambitious, that's okay. Dawn and Scott know that it can be tough to get out of the sit-and-stare routine of an office job, even if you want to take advantage of these healthy opportunities. They say that the easiest way to shake off any concerns is to get started with whatever feels right.

"Make a point of getting up and moving at least once every hour," Scott says. "That can be done by sneaking in a few squats, doing a few simple stretches at your desk, or taking a walk around the block while taking calls. You can also invite a co-worker on a walk for a brainstorming session. Remember, a few key items can go a long way. Swap in an exercise ball for your basic desk chair. You'll build core strength as you multitask, and you'll bring awareness to your posture, too."

We asked Dawn and Scott to provide five easy exercises that you can do at your desk as soon as possible, just by making a few moderations to the standard poses shown in the examples below. Give it some time, and hopefully, these routines become as second nature as grabbing an afternoon coffee or participating in a group Slack.