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Deskercise: 18 exercises you can do at work

As you can imagine, working an office desk job is not the ideal career for burning calories and keeping in tip-top shape.

Sitting at your computer for hours each day doesn’t leave much time for achieving that stomach of steel and gives you a great excuse to neglect exercise altogether.

However, this does not have to be the case. There are plenty of quick and easy exercises that you can perform while at your desk to boost your heart rate. This can help to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and other conditions developed as a result of sitting still for too long.

If you are looking for a way to tone your muscles and improve your health while in the office, this is much easier than you may think.Read on for some inspiration on how to stay fit and healthy while working 9 to 5.

Desk Dips

Good for: Triceps

Position yourself on the very edge of your desk with your palms placed on either side of you and your feet flat on the floor. Bend at the elbow and lower yourself towards the floor until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees, aim to hold the pose for 30 seconds.

  • 5 mins
  • 20 calories

Seated Torso Twist

Good for: Torso

Sitting at your desk, cover your left knee with your right hand and look over your left shoulder. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to stretch your back, remembering to breathe. Repeat the action on the opposite side.

  • 30 seconds
  • 10 calories

Chest Stretch

Good for: Lower body

Stand up and hold your hands together behind your back, expanding your chest. Pull your shoulder blades as close together as possible and hold the pose for 30 seconds.

  • 30 seconds
  • 10 calories

Calf Raises

Good for: Shoulders, calves and legs

Using a sturdy object for support, stand on your tip toes and hold the pose for 15 seconds to strengthen the backs of your legs.

  • 10 Minutes
  • 34 calories
  • Arm Curls

    Good for: Strengthening and toning arms

    Holding a water bottle, or an object of a similar weight, let your arms fall straight by your side and then slowly bend them upwards. Repeat this action multiple times on both arms.

    • 10 minutes
    • 80 calories

    Seated Torso Crunch

    Good for: Torso

    Sitting on the very edge of a non-moving seat, hold on to the sides of the chair and pull your knees together while raising your legs towards the ceiling. Repeat this action multiple times.

    • 1 minute
    • 30 calories
    • Jump Lunges

      Good for: Improve stability and power

      Making sure you have a clear space, stand with your feet together and your arms bent at the elbow, then move into a normal lunge position. After this, jump straight upwards with your arms raised in the arm and land back into the normal lunge position. Repeat this on both legs.

      • 10 minutes
      • 80 calories

      Leg Raises

      Good for: Thighs and quads

      Under your desk, simply raise both legs at once upwards, and slowly lower them down. Repeat this action over multiple times.

      • 10 minutes
      • 70 calories
      • Chair Squats

        Good for: Lower Body

        Using a non-moving chair perch on the edge of the seat and slowly stand up with your arms by your sides. Lower yourself until you gently touch the chair and then stand back up, remembering to breathe. Repeat. For extra points, hover just over the chair for 30 seconds.

        • 1 minute
        • 20 calories

        Wall Sits

        Good for: Quads, hips and hamstrings.

        Standing against a wall, squat down to a 90-degree angle as if sitting on a chair, hold this pose for a few seconds and then slide back up. Repeat the action multiple times.

        • 5 minutes
        • 25 calories

        Knee Lifts

        Good for: Legs, abdomen and upper thighs

        Standing on the spot, lift your leg up in front of you, bringing both arms down on either side at the same time. Repeat this action on the other leg and swap between them multiple times.

        • 5 minutes
        • 30 calories

        Stand at Your Desk

        Good for: Lower blood sugar levels, reduce back pain.

        Simply standing at your desk while you work is a low intensity way to boost your health and improve your posture. You don’t need to surrender your seat altogether, try standing for half the day. Make sure your desk can be properly converted into a standing workspace to avoid any aches and pains.

        • 3.5 hours
        • 170 calories

        Back Extensions

        Good for: Back and glutes

        Position yourself behind your chair at your desk and hold onto the back for support. Raise your right arm towards the ceiling and lift your left leg behind you for 30 seconds to stretch out your back. Repeat the action with the opposite arm and leg.

        • 1 min
        • 20 calories

        Using Gym Ball as a Chair

        Good for: Back and spine health, stability, muscle balance

        Using a gym ball as a chair will mean your body has to constantly make small adjustments to stay balanced and will exercise several muscles in doing so. As well as this, your posture will be improved.

        • 8 hours
        • 400 calories
        • Jog on the Spot

            Good for: Legs

            Stand to the side of your desk and jog on the spot. If you want to challenge yourself, be sure to lift your knees as you do this.

            • 10 minutes
            • 66 calories

            Seated Arm Circles

            Good for: Arms

            While sitting down, stretch your arms out at your sides and press your shoulder blades together. With your palms facing down, circle your arms forwards around 20 times. Then, face your palms upwards and circle your arms backwards around 20 times. After this, circle your wrists 20 times in each direction.

            • 2 minutes
            • 15 calories

            Running up the Stairs

            Good for: Legs

            When climbing steps, pick up the pace and run up them for an incredibly increased calorie burn.

            • 10 minutes
            • 142 calories

            Lunge and Walk

            Good for: Legs, thighs and quadriceps

            Find an empty space, such as a meeting room or corridor and try lunging as you walk. You can use tables and chairs for support if needed.

            • 15 Minutes
            • 137 calories


            Although these exercises are great to keep you active while at work, we’re not medical experts, and all of your fitness and health advice should be given by a doctor.

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*Page yields are declared by the manufacturer in accordance with ISO/IEC standards or occasionally estimated based on 5% per page coverage. Yields will vary greatly depending on image, area coverage, print mode and environmental conditions.