Many of us have office jobs and spend a great deal of time sitting at our desks. Spending all this time sitting can have negative effects on our physical wellbeing. It can lead to obesity, back pain, poor posture and strained neck and shoulder muscles.   

Here are some easy and subtle exercises you can do at work:

Park further away

It is all too tempting to get a park right outside the entrance. How about trying this easy trick to add some more physical activity into your day. The walk back to your car at the end of the day is also a great way to destress.

Take the stairs

Instead of taking the elevator taking the stairs is a simple way to add some more steps into your day and increase your heart rate. Try taking two steps at a time, this will help to tone up your legs and glutes. 

Perfect your posture

Adopt the 90-90-90 position on your chair. Place your feet flat on the floor, have your knees and hips bent at a 90 degree angle and ensure your back is flat against the back of your chair. This will help reduce muscle strain on your back, neck and shoulders.

Walking Break

If possible take a short walking break. Schedule into your day 10-15 minutes to get out of your seat, even better if you can get outside. This will also help you refocus when you resume your work.

Seat squeeze

This exercise is unnoticeable to your colleagues and will help you tone up your glutes. Squeeze your buttocks together for 5-10 seconds and then release, repeat for 15 reps or until you tire.   

Leg raises

While seated at your desk straighten one leg out and hold there for 5-10 seconds. Lower your leg back down and let it hover just above the floor. Repeat this exercise and alternate legs for 15 reps. You can add a bag over the ankle if you want to add some extra weight. 

Shoulder shrugs

Place your arms on your desk with your palms facing upwards. Pull your abs in tight and raise your shoulders up towards your ears. Hold here for 5 seconds then release, do 10 reps of these. This exercise will work the trapezius muscles in your back.

Ab squeezes

This one can be done walking around the office or sitting at your desk. Take a breath in and as you exhale tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for 5-10 seconds. Do this for 10-15 reps. Another simple and unnoticeable exercise.  


Regularly stretching at your desk throughout the day is a great way to avoid neck and back pain. Try quick stretches such as;

  • Touching your ear to your shoulder holding it there for 5 seconds to stretch the neck.
  • Opening up your chest by stretching your arms back as if you were trying to hold a pencil between your shoulder blades.
  • Holding your hips in place and slowly extend your back by bending backward.