The Best Exercises For Desk Workers

Best exercises to do at your desk

Working from home is great for many reasons, but exercise is not one of them.  So, how do we keep our bodies healthy when we’re sat at a desk all day? We share some simple exercises to keep your body healthy when your brain’s doing all that hard work!


Office Ergonomics

Let’s start with a quick check to make sure you’ve got your basic desk ergonomics set up correctly.

1. Your feet should be flat on the floor (or on a foot rest if you’re a hobbit like me),

2. Your back should be straight and supported, and your lower arms should rest on the desk at a 90° angle to your torso.

3. Your computer should also be level with your eyes; if you’re looking up or down you need to adjust your chair height or the height of the monitor.


Dry That Nail Varnish

Tap, tap, tapping away all day as we transcribers do can get really tiring for our wrists, so let’s start with a simple wrist exercise.

1. Sit up straight and stick out your arms in front of you (sidenote: If you can touch your computer screen, it’s too close).

2. Relax your wrists and let your hands go limp.

3. Now, raise them up so that your fingers are pointing at the ceiling and then lower them so that they’re pointing at the floor.

Repeat this ten times.

To add an extra step to this, do this one hand at a time, and when you point your fingers to the ceiling, use your spare hand to gently pull back on your fingers so that you can feel a stretch in your wrist.  Don’t overdo it though, those fingers are valuable!



Sitting still all day, it’s amazing how much tension you can build up in your shoulders, so let’s loosen them up with a bit of shrugging.

1. Make sure your back’s straight and your arms are relaxed, with your hands down by your sides (or on your lap if there are armrests getting in the way).

2. Now, raise your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for ten seconds…and then relax.

3. As you drop your shoulders back down, you should feel that tension slipping away.  Just make sure not to let your head or chin droop down to meet your shoulders, the latter should be doing all the hard work!

Toning and Toe Pointing

If you’ve been sitting for a long period of time, your knees and ankles can get stiff from being locked in the same position, so it’s time to change that.

1. Sit up straight and relax your arms and shoulders.

2. Now, lift up your legs and straighten them out in front of you, pointing your toes like a ballet dancer.

3. Hold them there for ten seconds…and then relax.

Repeat this ten times, making sure the rest of your body stays relaxed, your shoulders don’t tense up, and that you’re continuing to breathe normally.


Praying and Shaking Hands

Feeling a bit frustrated?  Release some of that tension with a bit of brute force!

1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, bring the palms of your hands together in a praying position, and then push both hands against each other for ten seconds…then release, and repeat a few more times.

2. Now, do the opposite! Instead of your hands being palm-to-palm, clasp them together as if you’re shaking hands with yourself, so that one thumb is pointing up and one is pointing down. Now, pull outwards as if you’re having a tug of war with yourself.  Do this for ten seconds, relax…and then repeat.


Let’s Dance!

Perhaps you’re coming to the end of a long day, it’s raining outside, or you’re just feeling a bit blue.  Whatever the reason, it sounds like it’s time to give your eyes a rest and loosen up your tense muscles with a bit of seat dancing!

Start by putting on a fun song to boogie to (‘Spice Up Your Life’ is my current favourite), and shake that booty in front of your comput-y!  Loosen those muscles, let that tension go, and have a bit of fun in the process!


Give Yourself a Break

Last, but by no means least, make sure you’re taking breaks, and when you do, get out from in front of your desk.  Take time to stretch your legs and maybe rest your eyes for a minute or two. Recharge, refuel, and refresh!


Blog written by Transcriber Lydia

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