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5 Sneaky Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk to Get in Shape

By Sarah Moran 11 January 2019
Remember the days when work meant actual manual labour and not sitting in front of your desk, glued to your screen? Well, neither do we. If you're like us and spend most of your time behind a desk, typing away at your keyboard, then we've got a few little exercises that you can sneak in between your conference calls and Gchats to help you get in shape. And the best part is, you don't even need to leave your desk!

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1. Tricep Chair Dips

Tone your arms by performing some tricep dips on your chair, or if your chair has wheels and you're worried about getting hurt, you can just use your desk instead. With your legs in front of you, hold on to the edge of your chair and lower yourself down then lift yourself back up again. This is a great way to get in some exercise – but just make sure your work performance doesn't dip as well!

2. Sitting Spinal Stretch

The Sitting Spinal Stretch is one of the more discreet exercises of the bunch – you don't even have to leave your chair. Holding onto your chair's armrest or back, turn your head to the left, look over your shoulder, and hold position for a few seconds. Then repeat the same movements on your right side. This is great if you're suffering from back pain.

3. Shoulder Spin

Another exercise for back pain you can do at your desk is the shoulder spin. Bring your arms behind your back, with one arm reaching down from your shoulder while the other arm reaches up from your waist. Hold your hands together, sit up tall, and hold position for ten seconds.

4. Invisible Chair Sit

The invisible chair sit will have you looking a little weird, but you'll just have to grow a thick skin and not care. This position is basically a squat. Push your chair away, and imagine lowering yourself down to just a few inches of an 'invisible chair'. Pop back up just a few inches again, and repeat the process.

5. Seated Crunch

The deadlines are looming, and so are your hopes of getting a six-pack by summer (and we don't mean Tsing Tao). While most jobs frown upon drinking at work, you can get the other kind of six-pack with some seated crunches. With your arms stretched out straight, keep your back away from the ground and your legs hovering at shoulder level. Try to balance yourself by using only your abs, and feel the burn! Hold this position for ten seconds, release, and repeat. You can do this on your chair, or if you want, on the floor under or in front of your desk – we won't judge.
Read More! Check out these Wearable Gadgets that will Help You Get in Shape, or explore the rest of our Wellness section.

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Sarah Moran

Staff writer

Born and raised in Hong Kong to expat parents, Sarah grew up as your typical third-culture kid, caught between two worlds. As someone who is nosy (or just curious) and loves the written word, there was never any other career that appealed to her as much as journalism. When she’s not busy on her mission to find the line between not enough coffee and too much coffee, you can find her exploring the city or getting stuck in a good book.