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Stretch At Your Desk: 3 Super Easy Exercises To Do At Your Desk

Updated: May 28

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 2 adults doesn't get enough physical activity. And this leads to around 117 billion US dollars in annual healthcare costs.

3 Super Easy Exercises To Do At Your Desk

If you're someone that struggles to fit in exercise, let’s do something about it. And what better way than by starting simple with some stretches at your desk? You'll feel healthier and more energized which can lead to better work performance and focus.

As a corporate wellness coach and a corporate professional myself, I experience firsthand how a simple desk stretch can improve your mood and productivity at work.

So I decided to put together this simple guide on how you can do desk stretches at work.

Keep reading to find out how to do these simple desk stretches.

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3 Super Easy Exercises To Do At Your Desk

These exercises require only a chair and a few minutes of your time. So you can do them during your breaks or at the end of your workday to relax and unwind. As always, before starting any new routine consultant with your doctor.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of how to perform each desk stretch.

Forward Fold

How to do the forward fold:

  1. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground.

  2. Slowly hinge over at your hips.

  3. Let your hands and head relax.

  4. Stay for three to five breaths.

  5. On your fifth exhale, slowly begin to roll up one vertebra at a time back until you're sitting up nice and tall.


How to do the twist:

  1. Bring your right hand to the outside of your chair arm.

  2. Put your left hand to the outside of your right knee.

  3. Inhale, and lengthen your spine.

  4. As you exhale, gently twist towards the right side.

  5. Take one more breath in this position.

  6. On your next exhale, slowly come back through the center.

  7. Repeat on the other side.


How to do the cat-cow:

  1. As you inhale, lead with your chest.

  2. Open your chest, and bring your shoulders down and away from your ears.

  3. Look up.

  4. As you exhale, round your spine, looking inwards toward your belly button.

  5. You can take as many rounds here as you're comfortable with. I recommend at least three to five.

And that’s it! You can practice these stretches at your desk any day of the week, which will help you feel more alert and energized. Remember to focus on your breath as you move through each movement, and enjoy a more productive workday.

FAQ about Exercises To Do At Your Desk

What exercise can you do sitting at your desk?

One of the best exercises you can do while sitting at your desk is stretching. When you sit for long periods of time, your body can become stiff and tense. Stretching out those muscles can help improve flexibility and circulation.

Some of the exercises you can do are forward fold, twist, cat-cow, back bend, seated figure four, a neck stretch, and chest stretch.

Do desk exercises work?

Yes! If you are looking for an easy way to add some movement to your day, desk exercises are a great option. You may not see immediate results from these exercises, but over time they will help improve your flexibility and circulation as well as provide a mental break from work.

How can I be more active at my desk?

Get up and walk during breaks, try working while standing with the appropriate tools (if you can), take breaks to stretch, and eat lunch away from your desk. Also, try not to sit for more than an hour without getting up and moving around.

To add more physical activity during your workday, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park farther from work or your destination. If you have a long walk, try walking with a friend to make it more enjoyable.

Include exercise snacking into your day (bite-sized exercise like ten air squats while your coffee is brewing or a quick plank 30-second plank during a TV commercial).

What to do next?

If you’re interested in adding more physical activity to your day, try a few simple steps. Start with small changes that are easy to maintain and build on them over time. The key is to find what works best for you.

Do you have a way to get more physical activity into your day? Share your tips below!


About the Author

Alexa Hanshaw

Co-Author: Irish Doton

Alexa Hanshaw is a health and stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.

Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!

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