9 to Fine! Stay Healthy Beind A Desk

Tuesday, April 28 2020 12:30 PM
By Ellen Healy

Who needs exercise when you’re an Excel champ and can run pivot tables in your sleep?

Well, it turns out that individuals working in a chair 8-10 hours a day need exercise the most.  As we continue working at the office or from home during COVID-19, most of us will continue working at a desk. The typical American working 9-5, even while doing cardio five times a week for thirty minutes, may still be at risk for health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.


The Facts: Most of us are Sedentary

Most people spend more time at work than anywhere else, in addition to the time they spend commuting each day. In fact, the typical American works approximately 47 hours a week. These 47 hours are typically spent at a desk with very little physical activity. The days of manual labor are sadly, for the most part, a thing of the past for most Americans it seems.

So, what’s a desk jockey to do in these types of circumstances?


Don’t lose hope. Get motivated!

Thankfully, according to the Canadian Journal of Public Health, short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between phone calls, meetings with clients, and the endless wave of emails can actually improve your fitness levels and heart health. While these quick tips won’t allow you to wash your clothes on washboard abs, they will improve your health—and some exercise is still better than no exercise.


Tips and tricks for your everyday desk worker


1. Calf raises:

This exercise requires you to place the ball of your foot on the ground and move your leg in an upward motion to allow your gastrocnemius (calf muscle) to contract. 

2. Stair master:

This is a great way to work on the whole lower body.  The best way to squeeze this into your hectic schedule is to just take the stairs instead of the elevator.  If you’re working from home, use your stairway there, or find a place that has one.  


3. Take a walk:

Instead of staring at your computer for hours on end, take a walk every hour. This way you can get some exercise while staying hydrated.


 4. Office or Home wander:

We all have gotten into the habit of emailing way too much. Apart from the times of social distancing and Coronavirus, we would normally suggest that you take a stroll to your coworker to ask the answers you seek. Due to the self-quarantine, no group suggestion, call your co-worker instead and walk around! This will give you exercise as well as prevent unnecessary email inbox clutter. You’re welcome.

5. The seat squeeze:

This is a simple exercise, and the best part is that no one really knows you’re doing it.  Start by squeezing your glutes and hold for 5-10 seconds. Then repeat until tired or you’re caught up on emails.

6. The finger press:

I know we have all used a binder clip before but have you ever thought about them as resistance bands.  Try using a variety of sizes to get the right resistance for your fingers or hands.  This will improve your hand and arm strength.



Undeniably, staying healthy is harder working in an office or at home, but it’s still possible to lead a healthy lifestyle!  Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and keep in mind that every little bit of exercise can help.




"29 Exercises You Can Do At (Or Near) Your Desk." Life Hack. N.p., 1 Apr 2012. Web. 3 Jun 2013.

Desk potatoes: the importance of occupational physical activity on health. Probert, A.W., Tremblay, M.S., and Gorber, S.C. Physical Health Measures Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, ON. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 2008 Jul-Aug;99(4):311-8.

Milam, Emily. "DESKERCISE! 33 WAYS TO EXERCISE AT WORK." Greatest. N.p., 17 May 2012. Web. 3 Jun 2013.


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