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8 Office Exercises That Really Work

The average person sits for at least eight hours each day in front of the TV, in a car, and — the biggest culprit — at a desk, in front of a computer, while at work. When the day is over, even though exercise has been linked to healthy living, who wants to hit the gym? You can put the work back into workout by trying these 8 exercises without leaving your office.

Desk push-ups

Stand in front of your desk then lean forward, placing hands on the edge of your desk body-width apart. Lean forward so your body is angled to the floor. Lower, then push up. Repeat as long as you want. Targets triceps.

Side lunges

Stand up. Step to one side, then bend knee, creating a 90-degree angle with your leg. Pull back until your leg is angled toward the floor. Re-center, then repeat on the other side. Targets thighs and calves.

Backward chair push-ups

Stand up, step in front of your chair, then lower as if to sit. Catch the edge of your chair with the palms of your hands so that you are “seated” in front of your chair. Your legs will be at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Lower, raise, and repeat. For an added challenge, start “seated” in front of your chair, lower, then raise yourself until you are seated in your chair. Scoot off, catching the chair with the palms of your hands and “sit” in front of chair. Lower, then raise, then finish back in your seat. Targets thighs, calves, triceps, and shoulders.

Jumping jacks

True, your colleagues may look at your funny, but jumping jacks are a good way to get your blood pumping and reinvigorate you especially after 3 p.m. when all you want to do is go home. Targets legs and arms.


Probably not to be done in front of anyone, but if you have access to an empty office, close the door, and box. Targets legs and arms.

Chair-based strength-building exercise

While sitting (!) in your chair, lift and extend one leg, holding it up for at least two seconds. Lower leg, then lift and extend the other leg. Start with two seconds per leg, then increase the amount of time you can hold up your legs. For an added challenge as you lower one leg, raise the other. Targets calves.

Take the stairs

Skip the elevator. You can burn an additional 10 calories for every flight of stairs you walk..


Leave your desk and take a walk. If you can, walk outside. If walking outside is not an option, take laps around your office. Start a lunchtime walking group and invite colleagues to join you. Studies show that working out, and walking, with someone or in a group will motivate you to keep it up.