Written by Diana Vilibert

You’re probably already familiar with some of the risks associated with sitting at your desk all day—it’s been linked to everything from high blood pressure and colon cancer to poor circulation and high cholesterol. And while research shows that the average office worker sits 10 hours a day, we’re not happy about it, however, it can be hard to get moving—walk-and-talk meetings don’t work for larger groups, practicing your handstands in a bathroom stall is less than ideal, and doing your lunges in front of the office Keurig machine is a good way to make enemies. Stay at your desk—and try these tips instead.


Stand Up

You may be able to convince your boss to spring for an expensive standing desk, but if not—or if you need something for your home office—consider a cheaper, more compact alternative. Products like the Human Solution’s Uplift Standing Desk Converter and AnthroDesk’s ErgoConvert Electric Sit-Stand Desk Converter transform your existing workstation into a height-adjustable one and costs way less. You’ll burn 50 more calories per hour and work your abdominal and gluteal muscles, which are underused when you’re sitting.

But Don’t Just Stand There

As long as you’re standing, might as well give your muscles a little more to do. But what you can you do that’ll get you more active without getting strange looks from your coworkers? AnthroDesk founder Michael W. Jordan says customers ask him that all the time. His go-to? Standing calf raises (slip off your heels first), incline push-ups against the desk, and covert butt squeezes. You can also switch out your standing desk mat for a balance board—FluidStance’s Level increased the range of motion by 24 degrees and heart rate by 15 percent, in one study.

Stretch It Out


Courtesy of TheraBand

A standing desk isn’t your only hope—the right gear can make a big difference too. “The most important piece of exercise equipment a person can keep at their desk is a resistance band,” says Patrick Henigan, personal trainer and owner of Jacksonville Fitness Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. Use it to strengthen the upper back, Henigan advises so you can alleviate any postural problems caused by sitting at a desk all day. Or, kick it up a notch: a band like TheraBand CLX can give you a whole-body workout, helping with bicep curls, chest presses, squats, leg extensions, and more.

Steal Moves From Chair Yoga

No time for a yoga class during your lunch break? Chair yoga classes popular among seniors and those with mobility issues, but you can use the moves to improve your strength and flexibility from your office chair. No, it won’t match the intensity of your Bikram class, but you’ll improve your circulation and stretch tight muscles—which beats doing a PowerPoint presentation for your boss while standing in Warrior pose.

Get Pedaling


Courtesy of Pcmag.com

Think of it as a spin class, with a whole lot less sweating and swearing. Pop a mini exercise bike like the DeskCycle under your desk for a discreet workout while you type and make calls.  Accord to DeskCycle, pedaling at just one revolution per second a resistance level three will raise your energy expenditure by 100%. The Cubii, meanwhile, is an under-desk elliptical that’ll even tell you how far you’ve traveled, how many calories you’ve burned, and how you’re progressing daily, weekly, and monthly.

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