Exercise Routines for People Who Sit at a Desk All Day

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If you sit at a desk all day, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, a recent study states that a whopping 86 percent of Americans do so! As you probably already know, staying sedentary is actually one of the worst things we can do to our bodies. So, how do we combat that?

Well, we have some routine exercises for people who need to keep their bodies mobile and help avoid injuries that can come from this kind of lifestyle – let’s take a look!

1. Yoga

Yoga is an amazing form of exercise, no matter who you are, how old you are, or what your current fitness level is. Yoga is the perfect blend of enhancing the mind and the body. It allows you to really relax and focus on introspection while also improving your mind-body connection, flexibility, and strength.

When we’re sedentary, we lose muscle tone in our core, our rear muscle chain becomes weakened, and our hip flexors become very tight. Yoga helps restore this.

Yoga helps in a way that poses very little risk of injury, even if you’re “out of shape”. From professional athletes to office workers; it can benefit each and every one of us as it strengthens our muscles in ways lifting weights or performing aerobic exercise can’t.

When doing yoga, you must use a yoga mat or at least an exercise mat. As you’ll be holding poses for relatively long periods of time, you don’t want to be uncomfortable with your bones rubbing up against the hard floor. Not only that, but mats help prevent the growth of bacteria on your flooring and are easy to clean with just soap and water.

2. Boxing

No, you don’t need to actually step into a ring with another fighter to box! We’re talking about using a punching bag, which is much safer and probably much more convenient for you! Boxing has an array of benefits. If you’re already into the sport, then it’s a great way to work on your punches and kicks, but even if you’re a newbie, you can still get a great workout in and improve your hand-eye coordination.

Using a punching bag improves strength and power – most notably, explosive power, which can be hard to work on otherwise. It’s a great combination of both strength training and endurance training, as you will be sweating bullets just after 15-20 minutes of using the bag.

As you’ll be rotating your body each punch and kick you give it, you’ll be working your core, toning and burning fat. Moreover, you’ll be working on your balance and stability!

xercises for People Who Sit All Day

3. Pilates Reformer

Pilates used to be really big back in the day, but let’s not forget that it still offers huge benefits. Pilates reformers are probably the most effective way to go about it, improving strength all around the core muscles, along with the rest of the body. In fact, it draws many benefits similar to those you’ll receive from doing yoga regularly.

As our posture tends to suffer when we sit at our desks all day, we loved how well Pilates reformers helped to strengthen our back muscles, thus improving posture and proper body alignment. As it helps simultaneously with improving strength and flexibility, you’ll be taking a lot of the strain that incurs while sitting and staring at a screen.

4. Under Desk Elliptical/Treadmill

It’s true – you don’t even have to leave your desk to relieve those muscles and get in a nice workout! You now get to choose between an under desk elliptical or treadmill – depending on your preferences and your desk.

Under desk ellipticals are ideal if you’re sitting down at your desk, for example. You can use them standing up too, if you have good balance. However, using them at your office chair will get the blood pumping and increase circulation. This can relieve soreness, particularly in the lower body and feet.

Under desk treadmills are ideal if you have a standup desk as it’d be difficult to gain traction and resistance while sitting down. The cool thing about many of these models is that they even come with a riser which can be lifted in the “up” position and used for jogging! So, if you’d like to take it home on the weekends or if you’re working from home, it’s quite the versatile piece of gear!

5. Pedal Exerciser

Alternatively, you could go for a pedal exerciser which draws many similarities to the under desk elliptical, with some notable differences. While the latter mainly addresses the lower body, the former can be used for a full-body workout.


It comes with pedals which can be operated by either your feet or your hands! You can use it under your desk like you would the ellipticals, or place it on top of your desk and move it with the strength of your arms. With non-slip pedals and additional straps, you’ll be able to hold onto them firmly or pedal them with your feet without risk they’ll slip off.

As they’re so lightweight, you can easily take them with you to the office and back home at night, should you choose to. If you work at home, then they’re nice and compact so you can simply place it in a corner or in the closet when you’re done for the day.


Now that you’re well aware of the best exercises for people who sit at their desk all day, do you know which you’re going to take up? The great thing about these options is that you’re not limited to just one! In fact, you could probably partake in them all if you’d like to! They’re great for all physical fitness levels and ages. We hope our guide helped you out and you’re well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!


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Shayanne Weeks

Shayanne is a freelance writer and personal trainer based in LA, California. Describing herself as a nomad, she has lived in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington as well as Guadalajara, Mexico. As an extremely active person, she loves to train people, teach yoga, and ski. She enjoys sharing her love for teaching others through her “how to” fitness guides and workout equipment reviews. Shayanne is addicted to surfing and yoga and practices both everyday.
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