The 7 Best Desk Exercises When You Can’t Get Up

Discover the best desk exercises for those times when you can’t step away from your desk. They only take a moment and help you feel so much better.

If you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, it’s important to establish a resting period from time to time. You can do some stretches to avoid muscle pain and other problems. For example, not moving enough can result in weight gain and stiff muscles. But all these problems can be easily avoided by doing some desk exercises; some require getting up, while others only need you to stand near your desk.

Best Desk Exercises: Eye Exercises to Reduce Eye Strain

One of the things you look at a lot while sitting at your desk is your computer screen. Too much screen time can cause all sorts of discomfort, including eye strain. An exercise you can try is placing your head in a comfortable position and slowly rolling your eyes up and down. Do this five times in two sets with a rest period of three seconds between each set.

You can also try closing your eyes and covering so everything is pitch-dark for five minutes. Try doing this for five minutes each time, three times a day. This is also a great way to relieve all that work stress. When you’re working, you may forget to do something as simple as blinking. By not blinking often enough, your eyes can feel dry. Try putting a note that is always in front of you to blink more often. It can be that simple.

You can also try changing the objects you focus on. For example, focus on an object close by for ten seconds. Then, try focusing on an object farther away for the same amount of time or more if you feel you need more time.

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Best Desk Exercises: Neck Exercises

When you sit the wrong way with the screen either too high or too low, you can experience neck pain. Here is an exercise to relieve all that tension.

  1. Slight tilt your head forward.
  2. Slowly roll your head in circles clockwise in one direction for 10-15 seconds, and then switch.
  3. Slowly tilt your head to the right and then switch to the left.
  4. Slightly use your hand to gently press down on the side of your head to stretch those neck muscles when you’re on each side.

Working Out the Legs

Easy desk exercises- inner thigh squeezes

It’s time to work out those legs by placing a book or another object between your thighs and squeezing. You can also put the object between your knees and squeeze. Try ten squeezes in each set for a total of 3 sets.

Calf Stretch

An exercise you can do to keep those calves in shape is some calf stretches. When you have your feet flat on the floor, raise your heel to apply pressure on your toes, hold for two seconds, and release. Repeat as many times as you can; the more, the better.

Shoulder Rolls

As the name suggests, slowly roll your shoulders forward for a few seconds and backward for as long as you can resist. You can do both shoulders simultaneously or one shoulder at a time.

Desk Yoga: Cat-Cow Stretch

To try that Cat-Cow, stretch out your feet flat on the floor.

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Put your hands on your knees.

When you inhale, arch your back and look up.

When you exhale, round your spine and slowly drop your head forward.

Try three to five reps.

Move Around When You Can

Other helpful movements are to stretch your hands towards the ceiling and get a good stretch. Move your hands in a circular motion so your fingers are not always in a mouse-holding position all the time. If you can get up and walk around, that’s even better. You can also try slightly lifting your leg while you sit and moving your ankles in a circular motion, clockwise and then counterclockwise. Don’t forget to switch. Happy stretching!