Desk Chair Exercises

If you work a desk job, you know that you spend countless hours hunched over a keyboard with little activity throughout the day. You can exercise and stretch at your desk to maintain your health and flexibility and to increase your energy while at your job. “Exercise decreases stress and relieves tensions that might otherwise lead to overeating,” says the Department of Health and Human Services. Resist the temptation to grab an unhealthy snack while at your desk, and make it a point to exercise to boost your productivity and your mood while at your desk.

Isometrics for the Lower Body

Lower body isometrics work your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves without getting out of your chair. Wake up your muscles with this move three to five times throughout the day.

Sit upright in your chair with your feet planted hip-width apart on the floor. Tighten your abs, squeeze your butt, then quads and hamstrings and press your feet further into the floor, engaging your lower body. Hold the exercise for five to 10 seconds at a time.


Dips improve your posture, as well as strength and flexibility in your chest, shoulders and triceps.

Use a non-rolling chair or the edge of your desk. Lift your elbows behind your torso, place your hands shoulder-width apart, with palms facing forward. Lift your body using your chest, shoulders and arms. Return to start; repeat 10 to 12 reps.

Chair Crunches

Chair crunches help you activate your abdominal muscles to support and promote good posture.

Sitting on the edge of your seat, lean back slightly and hold the side of your chair for support. Engage your abs and lift your knees toward your chest. Hold for two to four seconds and lower your legs, without touching the floor. Repeat 10 to 12 reps.

Half Snow Angel Stretch

Counteract the hunch of sitting over a keyboard by taking a posture break. Practice deep breathing with this move to renew your energy. Repeat three to five times throughout the day.

Sit upright with your hands in your lap. With your palms together, lift your arms above your head and stretch tall. Separate your hands and extend your arms out to the side, opening up the chest and squeezing your shoulder blades. Bring your hands back to the start and repeat, lingering in each position, as desired.


Marching helps to keep the legs awake and active throughout the day, promoting good blood flow and proper circulation.

Sit toward the edge of your seat with your feet planted on the floor. Alternate legs and lift your knees toward your chest. Perform in one-minute intervals, several times a day.

About this Author

Based in Bethesda, Md., Monica Niska has shared her passion for fitness by writing wellness-related articles and inspirational stories since 2008. She is a certified personal trainer, health fitness specialist and corrective exercise specialist. Niska holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from the University of Delaware.