Desk exercises are exercises that can be done while sitting at a desk or while in the office at work. It is important to move around or get up from the desk and stretch the body at regular intervals throughout the day, to prevent developing poor posture, repetitive stress injuries, stiffness, or headaches, as well as gaining weight. Most desk exercises are simply stretching exercises, though some people manage to get some aerobics into their workday as well. Many of these same exercises may also be done in an airline seat as well, for those on long flights.
Keep in mind that desk exercises are not a substitute for a regular exercise routine, and it is important to try to carve out time at least a few times a week to exercise. In addition, some exercises at work may take place at other locations than a desk. For instance, taking the stairs to the office instead of the elevator or parking a little further away from the door can add a bit more physical activity to the day.
In a busy office, where it is not possible to do exercises, it is still possible to work some of the muscles in the body. Women can do kegel exercises, which involve clenching and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. In addition, anyone can tighten and relax the muscles of the abdominals or the buttocks; simply tighten the muscles, hold it for a few seconds, and relax. No one else will likely be able to tell.
Back stretches are excellent desk exercises as well, and they may be done sitting or standing. Take the arms out to the side and over the head, joining the palms; lift the chest and slightly bend the head backward to counteract the muscles that are used to hunch over the computer. This gentle back stretch can be very refreshing. Another option for a back stretch is to place the hands on the edge of the desk, palms down; next, scoot the chair back with the arms straight out in front, and place the head down between the arms. One might also get up and try to touch the toes.
Desk exercises that work the legs are possible as well. Push the chair back from the desk and lift one leg straight out in front, feeling the muscles in the front of the leg tighten. Hold it for a few seconds and switch legs. If one is lucky enough to have a private office, try to sneak in some aerobic activity with some jumping jacks or marching in place, or try to do some squats. Throughout the day, remember to get up from the desk frequently, and at least walk around the office.