Organizational Wellness

Deskercise! Stay Fit While You Sit: 10 Simple Exercises to Energize Your Team's Workday

Jan 26, 2024
Last Updated Jan 26, 2024

When the hours spent in front of a computer screen can feel endless, it can be difficult to fit exercise into your routine. That’s where the concept of deskercise comes in as a solution for both physical wellbeing and productivity. 

As sedentary work environments become increasingly common, it’s more important than ever to integrate movement into daily routines. Deskercise encourages short, but effective bursts of physical activity right at your workspace. Beyond the obvious health benefits, staying active during office hours can help boost energy levels and enhance focus, which means your employees are ready to tackle their projects. 

Many HR leaders are looking for ways to foster a healthier workforce and reduce healthcare costs. One way to do so is by helping employees prioritize their wellness goals. Deskercise can contribute! with deskercise. These invigorating deskercise ideas can help transform your workspace into a hub of health and engagement

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What Is Deskercise?

Deskercise is any exercise that can be done at a desk to combat the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. It focuses on adding simple, targeted exercises to your routine to counteract sedentary behavior common in desk-bound work environments. 

There is an undeniable link between extended periods of sitting and various health concerns, including cardiovascular problems and musculoskeletal issues. Deskercise serves as a remedy to these health risks, but it also acts as a tool to boost productivity. Short bursts of physical activity have been shown to enhance cognitive function, which means a healthier and more engaged workforce. 

Deskercise Exercises

Your employees can stay active at their desks so that they can keep up with their projects without sacrificing their health goals. These exercises are non-disruptive and easy to follow. The best part is that they all require little to no equipment, which means you can invest in employee health without spending on costly gear. 

Seated Leg Lifts

Elevate your leg exercise game while seated. For this exercise, you engage leg muscles discreetly by lifting one or both legs, promoting circulation and preventing stiffness. Simply sit upright, extend your legs, and lift. 

Paper Plate Sliders

This deskercise transforms ordinary paper plates into core-strengthening tools. To perform paper plate sliders, place the plates under your feet and slide side to side or front to back. It helps to engage your core muscles. This low-impact exercise silently targets your abs without disrupting your colleagues, making it a great option for a quick midday boost.

Chair Squats with a Twist

You can infuse energy into your workday with chair squats that include a seated twist. Combining the benefits of squats and torso rotation, this exercise engages multiple muscle groups. For this exercise, begin by sitting on the edge of the chair. Perform a squatting motion and incorporate a controlled twist to one side as you rise. It’s important to maintain proper form by keeping your back straight and knees aligned as it will maximize the full-body benefits of this deskercise.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

Combat the strain from extended keyboard use with wrist flexor stretches. To perform this stretch, gently bend your wrist downward and apply light pressure. This exercise alleviates tension in the wrists and forearms, offering relief from repetitive motion and promoting overall wrist flexibility.

Ankle Alphabet

Drawing the alphabet with your ankles is a great way to enhance ankle mobility without leaving your desk. This seated exercise is discreet and effective at preventing stiffness. Simply lift your foot and trace the alphabet in the air for a quick and inconspicuous lower body workout.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

This deskercise helps relieve upper back tension. To perform it, sit upright and squeeze your shoulder blades together, holding it for a few seconds. The shoulder blade squeeze encourages good posture and strengthens the upper back. It also eases tension, fostering a more comfortable and ergonomic workspace.

Calf Raises

If you are looking for an exercise that strengthens your calf muscles, this is a good option. You can incorporate calf raises into your daily routine by lifting your heels while keeping your toes on the ground. This exercise targets the calves and promotes blood circulation to combat the effects of prolonged sitting.

Desktop Push-Ups

You can even adapt traditional push-ups for the office setting. Strengthen your upper body by placing your hands on the edge of your desk and performing push-ups. Maintaining a straight back is important for optimal effectiveness. This exercise enhances chest and arm strength without the need for a gym.

Stealthy Chair Dips

Chair dips are one option if you are looking to tone your triceps. To perform this deskercise, place your hands at the edge of your chair and lower yourself by bending your elbows. Then push back up, engaging your triceps throughout the motion. This exercise discreetly builds arm strength without interrupting your workflow.

Mini-Band Side Steps

Effortlessly elevate your lower body workouts with mini-bands. Simply place a mini-band around your legs and perform side steps to activate hip muscles. This exercise can help improve hip mobility and strengthen the lower body. 

Making Deskercise a Group Activity

Turning deskercise into a collaborative effort can foster a healthier workplace and boost team spirit. Encouraging colleagues to participate in short, energizing exercises together often leads to a more supportive atmosphere. Consider organizing quick stretch breaks during team meetings, where everyone collectively engages in activities like seated leg lifts or wrist stretches. 

Initiating friendly challenges, such as who can complete the most discreet calf raises throughout the day, adds a fun and motivating element. By making deskercise a shared experience, teams can bond over a commitment to wellbeing.

Incorporating Workforce Wellness into Everyday Work

Encouraging your employees to stay active, from deskercise to a lunchtime HITT class, can serve as a proactive step toward improving employee wellness within your organization. And with 83% of workers saying their wellbeing at work is just as important as their salary, wellness programs are another way to take employee wellbeing to the next level. 

Gympass offers a variety of activities that can supplement deskercise, like access to local fitness facilities and classes. These initiatives empower employees to tailor their wellness journey, fostering a culture that prioritizes health and reduces healthcare costs.

Talk with a wellbeing specialist to learn more about how you can adjust your benefits to encourage employee wellness!

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Gympass Editorial Team

The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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