7 exercises you can do at your desk

It can be difficult to incorporate a fair amount of exercise into your packed work-schedule, especially if your job requires you to be desk-bound for a good chunk of the day.

The good news is that there are several ways to slip in a workout without leaving your desk. The bad news? Now you have no more excuses not to exercise.

Here are some basic tips, quick exercises to get you started. So stop slouching and start moving right now:

1. Do a chair stand

The chair stand works your hips and thighs, and all you need is a sturdy desk chair (if yours is on wheels, lock them in place to keep the chair from rolling). Simply stand up without using your hands to push off, and then slowly lower yourself back down, holding your arms out in front of you for balance. Repeat for a total of 10 times.

2. Do calf raises

Next, move to calf raises. Stand up and hold onto the back of your chair for a move that will tone your lower legs. Stand on one leg and rise up on your toes, and then slowly lower your heel down to the floor. Repeat for a total of 20 times, and then repeat with your other leg.

3. Work your core muscles

To work your core muscles, try doing planks using your desk for support. Prop yourself up on your forearms on one edge of your desk and walk your feet backward so that your body makes a straight line. Rise up on your toes and straighten your arms; hold this position, building up to 30 seconds. Rest and repeat four more times.

4. There's an app for that

You can use technology to stay on track with your office workouts. Set reminders on your smartphone to work in these "desk-ercises" throughout your day. Alternatively, there are also several apps with exercises you can do at home or at the office.

5. Do some dips in your chair before sitting down.

With your heels on the ground, hands on the chair arms, and both legs straight and pointed away from you, lower yourself to the chair by bending your arms until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle. Then push back up for five to 15 reps. (If you’ve already swapped your chair for a Swiss ball, sit on the edge of your desk with a straight back, curl your hands around that same edge and place your calves on the ball, legs straight. Slide your butt away from the desk so your hips can descend toward the ground. That’s your starting position for the dip.)

6. Swap your office chair for a Swiss ball

Trade your office chair for a Swiss ball to ensure that you engage your core, giving your abs a proper workout and also improving your posture. Plus, you will be alert for longer. Even better, if you have the means and your boss is laid back about such things, attach your computer to an exercise bike.

7. Do squats while on a conference call

Unless you're on a very important Skype meeting, of course... but while you're on a conference call where no-one can see you on the other side. Keep your core engaged and lower down with your knees bent, making sure they don't extend past your toes. Repeat until you start feeling the burn. Alternatively, you can also briskly walk up and down while on the phone.

All images supplied by iStock

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