Ways to Sneak in Exercise at Work

Let’s face it: that treadmill desk looks like a lot of fun, but it really isn’t practical for most purposes. Sitting at a traditional desk isn’t ideal either. Get the best of both worlds by sneaking some discrete deskercise into your workday.

Neck, Back and Shoulders

Slouching in your chair or slumping over a keyboard ties your neck, back and shoulders in knots. Save some money on massages by stretching for at least five minutes every hour.

  • Sit up straight and squeeze your shoulder blades as close together as you can. Hold for a few seconds, relax and repeat. If you’re feeling more flexible, try the Reverse Prayer yoga pose.
  • Sit with your arms hanging to the side of your body. Flex your left hand and point your right hand. Press your ear as close to your right shoulder as possible without scrunching shoulder up. Slowly rotate your head around the front of your body until it reaches your left shoulder. Switch hand positions and rotate head back to the other side.


The circulation in your legs suffers when you sit all day. Increase your energy level without another shot of caffeine by exercising your legs as often as possible.

  • Stand behind your chair with feet together. Push to a tip-toe position to stretch calves and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat ten times.
  • Sit up straight in your chair and lift one leg at a time. Flex and point your foot five times before lowering. Repeat with other leg.
  • Stand in front of your chair with feet about shoulder-width apart. Bending at the knees, squat down as far as comfortable until bottom lightly touches chair. Return to standing position and repeat ten times.

Don’t forget to stretch your legs by walking to the water cooler (not the soda machine!) to refill your tumbler or infuser every so often.


Keep your arms loose and limber no matter how much typing you do.

  • Hold one arm straight up by your ear. Bending arm at elbow, drop hand to opposite shoulder behind back. Grab elbow with opposite hand to deepen stretch and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with opposite arm.
  • Place hands shoulder-width apart on edge of desk and walk legs out behind you. Do three sets of desk pushups, 10 reps each.

How do you sneak in exercise at work? Share your ideas below.


Amy Johnson

is UDR’s budding social media guru, and has been instrumental in constructing the brand’s content strategy. After graduating from University of Colorado- Boulder, she started working for UDR as a marketing intern. When she isn’t perusing the web for the perfect pins and Facebook posts, she can be found hiking somewhere with her dog Rory.

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