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Mar 17, 2011

Desk Exercises – Get Fit While You Work!

It seems like everyone is working more and more hours these days which doesn’t leave much time for working out.  Plus, between work, watching TV and other sedentary activities, 30 minutes a day at the gym may not be enough to counteract the detrimental effects of sitting for 8 -10 hours a day according toGenevieve Healy, Ph.D., a researcher at the Cancer Prevention Research Centre of the University of Queensland in Australia.
Desk Exercises – Get Fit While You Work!But, what if there was a way you could fit in a quick workout at your desk?  A way to burn calories and get physically fit during the time you are most sedentary.
You’re not going to prepare yourself for a marathon by exercising at work, but you can burn calories, build strength and get a low impact aerobic session in just by sitting at your desk!

Pedal The Pounds Off

An extremely easy way to burn a lot of calories without getting out of your desk chair is to place a portable pedal exercise machine under your desk.  They are extremely small and lightweight and most importantly for some,  inconspicuous, meaning you can pedal without anybody knowing you’re doing it.
Best of all, research has shown this to be an effective way to counter the negative effects of having a sedentary job, with some participants burning more than 500 calories a day just sitting at their desk!  And they found that just 23 minutes of pedaling per day could improve the health of those with desk-bound jobs.Desk Exercises – Get Fit While You Work!
Pedal machines are very affordable, as well. offers a variety of them with the most popular being the Stamina 15-0120 InStride Cycle XL that sells for $37.50 (as of the time of this being posted) with free shipping.  You can also check your local sporting goods store to see what they offer.

Desk Exercises

While pedal machines offer a good aerobic workout, they don’t give you a full body workout – something that can easily be done with just a chair, a water bottle and a little ingenuity!
Lower Body
  • Leg Extensions: Sit straight up in your chair with both feet on the ground, slowly extend your right leg straight out and hold for 2 seconds, then lower it stopping just an inch off the ground, holding for 2 more seconds and repeat 12 – 15 times.  Do this with each leg.
  • Chair Squats: Sit straight up in your chair, both feet on the ground and arms extended straight out in front of you. Now, slowly standup keeping your arms out for balance and then slowly lower yourself back down.  Repeat 12-15 times.
Upper Body
  • Chair Dips: With both hands on the arms of your chair, slowly lift yourself up. Then, lower yourself back down stopping a few inches above the seat, hold this position for 2 seconds. Repeat 8 – 10 times.
  • Desk Push: Grab the edge of the desk with both hands and slowly push your chair back until your head is between your arms. Then slowly pull yourself back to the starting position. Repeat 12 – 15 times.
  • Triceps raise: Holding a full bottle of water extend one arm straight up in the air, then slowly bend the arm back behind you at the elbow, contracting the triceps.  Hold at the bottom position for 2 second then raise back up.  Repeat this motion 8 – 10 times for each arm.
  • Bicep Curl: Sit up straight at the edge of your chair. Hold your arm down at your side with your water bottle in hand.  Slowly curl the water bottle up bending your arm at the elbow, squeeze your bicep at the top of the motion and slowly lower your arm back down.  Repeat this motion 8 – 10 times for each arm.
  • Side Bends: Extend both arms straight up and over the head holding a water bottle with both hands. Slowly bend over to one side as far as you comfortably can.  Bring yourself back to the start position and repeat on the other side. Repeat this motion on each side 15-20 times.
  • Abs Twist: Holding a water with both hands, extend your arms straight out in front of you.  Slowly twist your body to the right as far as you comfortably can, then slowly twist back to the start position.  Repeat this motion on the left side making sure you can feel your abs contract.  Do this for both sides 15 – 20 times.
Now this doesn’t mean you should give up or replace your current gym workouts with desk exercises.  These are merely designed to keep your body moving throughout the day, when you would otherwise be sedentary, and to help keep you fit and healthy!

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