10 Exercises

You Can Do At Work

Sitting at a desk all day isn’t good for you. It raises your chances of getting heart disease or Type II Diabetes, and it’s even tied to weight gain. This makes sense since it’s hard to burn calories while sitting down all day. Many people already know this, but there’s little that they can do about it – until now, that is. There are a number of exercises that can be done while sitting at a desk, that will help your overall physical shape. Working (no pun intended) some of them into your average day at the office will help you burn some calories and prevent those aches and pains that come with sitting too much.

1) Arm and Shoulder Stretches

There are a number of arm and shoulder stretches that you can do at your desk as well. They include reaching upwards, which stretches all of the muscles in your arms and shoulders, as well as shoulder shrugs. The former is very easy to do at work. Just lace the fingers of both hands together and press up towards the ceiling, with your palms facing outwards. Don’t pull too hard, lest your damage your tendons and ligaments. A gentle stretch is what you’re going for here.

Leg Lift

Hold your hands up in this position for around ten seconds, before relaxing them, and then repeat three times. Shoulder shrugs are even easier to do. Sit with your back straight and your core muscles engaged, and then shrug your shoulders. Hold them in place for five seconds. Relax your shoulders and then repeat the shrugging motion up to five times.

2) Leg Lifts

These are one of the exercises that you can do while sitting at work. All that they require is for you to take a quick work break. Sit back in your chair so that your back is straight. Then, lift one leg in the air, extended as high as it can comfortably go. Hold that position for five seconds. Lower your leg, and then repeat with the other one, before going through these same motions again.

In all, repeat this exercise 15 times per leg. This exercises your leg muscles and stretches them out in the process.


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3) Core And Arm Lifts

In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles. PTI’s physical therapists perform a thorough evaluation of the musculo-skeletal and neurological systems followed by a the implementation of a specific medical exercise program tailored to each patient’s individual needs.

4) Tricep Dips

Tricep dips are a good way to engage your arm muscles when you’ve been sitting for an extended period of time. However, in order to do them in your office, you’ll either need a chair that doesn’t have wheels on it, or the edge of your desk, if it’s comfortably low enough.

Leg Lift

Position your body so that your back is to the chair or desk and place your hands on the seat (or edge of the desk, if that’s what you’re using.) Make sure that your rear is not touching the seat or desk. Straighten out your legs in front of you, and then use your arm muscles to dip your body lower and then back up. Do around ten reps in order to properly work out your triceps.

5) Squats

Although squats are unpleasant, they’re actually really good for you. They’re a form of cardio, so they’ll raise your heart rate a bit. This isn’t such a bad thing when you’ve been sitting at a desk all day. On top of this, they help develop the muscles in your legs and back. In order to do squats from your desk chair, sit with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, keeping your back as straight as possible, stand up and sit down ten times in rapid succession.

Wait one minute and then do another round of them. Not only will you get into shape a bit while at work, but you’ll find that the exercise will clear your head and help you concentrate better.

6) Leg Stretches

These leg stretches can be done while seated at your desk, and your co-workers may not even know that you’re doing them. The simplest one is a simple knee raise. Once again, sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Then, bend one knee and raise it so that the edge of your heel is on the seat of your chair. Once it’s in position, hug your knee to keep your leg in place. Hold this position for fifteen seconds before lowering your leg and repeating on the other side. Do around five reps of these with a ten-second pause in between sets. An additional leg stretch can be done to work your glutes. While in the same position (back straight, feet on the floor), raise one knee at an angle so that your foot is resting sideways on the other knee. Then, gently press down on the raised knee until you feel your glutes engage. Repeat with the other leg. Do five reps of these.

Leg Lift

7) Neck Stretches

If you’re looking for exercises to do at your desk that will help you stay limber, there’s nothing better than some stretches. Start at the top of your body and work your way down. Dip your head to the right- towards your shoulder – and hold that position for ten seconds. Repeat on the other side, and then rest for ten more seconds for doing another set of reps. Then, drop your chin down towards your chest and hold it there for ten seconds. Lift your head back up before doing the same motion one more time. Finally, tilt your head so that you’re looking over your right shoulder. Be very gentle about this, since you don’t want to pull any neck muscles. Hold it in place for fifteen seconds before repeating the motion on the other side of your body. Once again, wait for fifteen seconds before doing a final round of these stretches.

8) Core Stretches

Finally, there are some core stretches that you can do while in your chair at work. Engage your core muscles and sit up straight. Place your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms above your head. Then, lean slightly so that your head tilts to the right – make sure to keep your hips parallel to the ground. You’ll feel your oblique (side) muscles begin to stretch.

Leg Lift

Hold this position for ten seconds before facing forwards again. Repeat this on the other side. Do four reps of these, and your back will feel better while you’re stuck in your desk chair at work.

9) Shoulder Presses

In order to enhance your shoulder muscles while sitting in your office, you just need to do a few shoulder presses. First, find something slightly heavy, yet somewhat compact, like an old phone book or dictionary. Then, sit properly in your chair with your core muscles engaged and your back straight. Hold the bottom of the book with both hands and then lift it over your head, straightening your elbows as you do so. Treat the book as if it were a weight because, for this purpose, it is. Lower the book and then lift it back up. Do ten reps.

10) Squeeze Your Glutes

In case you weren’t aware, your glutes are the muscles located near your posterior. There’s a simple exercise that you can do while at work that stretches and exercises this muscle group. It’s called the squeeze. All that you need to do is sit straight up in your desk chair with your core muscles engaged and your feet flat on the floor. Then, tighten up those glutes, squeezing the muscles. Hold this for fifteen seconds before relaxing. Wait ten more seconds before repeating the same muscle squeeze again. Do four rounds of this.

Have these exercises helped you get through the workday? Or do you still need physical therapy in Little Rock in order to get into better shape? Whether you’re dealing with an injury or want to work out with a personal trainer, we can help. The Physical Therapy Institute can assist you with occupational therapy, general wellness, home health needs, speech therapy, and even the aforementioned physical therapy and personal training. Please contact us today to see how we can meet your needs.