Fit On The Job! 6 Tips + 14 Exercises for the Desk Bound Professional


I know that I’m very lucky to have a job that centers around health and fitness, but I also know that is not the norm! In fact, what is the norm for working individuals is being chained to a desk, cubicle, or office 8-10 hours a day. That is A LOT of sedentary time. So how are you supposed to get fit and lose weight when the majority of your waking hours are spent sitting?! It’s tough, for sure, but it is possible. With a little motivation, a few minutes carved out of your busy work day, and a couple of basic pieces of workout equipment, toning up and working out on the job is as easy as 1-2-3. Or should I say 4-5-6, because I’ve got SIX quick, easy tips for turning your desk bound job into a segue to fitness success!

Tip #1: Turn your desk into a stand up desk! Not only will you burn more calories, but you’ll also increase mobility, avoid shortening hip flexors and hammies, increase lymphatic stimulation, and improve posture! This ?no-brainer? will also help keep your ideas fresh by increasing brain oxygenation. You can buy a desk attachment, or just use a box to bring your computer up to standing height.

Tip #2: Implement a mandatory 3-5 minutes of deliberate movement at the top of every hour. Get up from your desk to walk to the bathroom, the drinking fountain, or simply around the building. The change in scenery will invigorate you, and the few minutes of movement will easily add up to nearly 25-40 minutes of movement a day! Technically, this could count as your daily dose of cardio if you pick up the pace. πŸ˜‰

Tip #3: Pace around while you are on your phone calls! Desk sitting while talking is unnecessary if you don?t need to be on your computer. Use your mobile device to retrieve data, if possible, while you bring your conference call outside. Keep in mind that you burn 1 calorie for every 20 steps, so if you allow your phone calls to help increase that step count, you?ll be well on your way to burning 500 cals a day if you can achieve the recommended 10K steps!

Tip #4: Vacuum!!! And I?m not talking about the floor. Seated vacuums are an incredible exercise to tighten your core and improve posture that can be done at your desk. Sit up straight, then simply inhale to inflate your lungs completely. Exhale all of the air out, and at the bottom of the exhale, draw your belly button in and upward toward your spine, then squeeze and hold that position for as long as you can. Aim for 20 second sets to begin, working up to 1 minute sets over time. Perform 10 vacuums in a row when you feel a lull in your day.

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Tip #5: Increase energy, brainpower, and overall wellness by breathing! Here?s a simple technique I use: Close your eyes and sit up straight. Take 20 deep and heavy breaths in and out while focusing on something that lifts your mood (oftentimes NOT work related!). When breathing, be sure to inhale AND exhale through both your mouth and nose to allow a full flow of oxygen. Twenty of these deep breaths will most definitely help refocus your brain and body!

Tip #6: Keep a set of dumbbells and a resistance band at your desk at all times. 

At least twice a day, pull those babies out for just 20 reps of one of the following (and some of these moves don?t even require weight!):

  • Seated lateral delt raises 
  • Seated front delt raises
  • Seated shoulder presses 
  • Chair tuck hold 
  • Chair tricep dips 
  • Seated bicep curls 
  • Chair squats 
  • Seated banded hip abductors 
  • Desk push ups 
  • Seated banded single leg extensions 
  • Seated dumbbell upright rows 
  • Seated calf raises 
  • Swivel chair ab rotations
  • Seated glute flexes 

(You can’t tell, but I’m totally squeezing my glutes! ;))

What are your favorite office fitness tips? Share them below and give one of these a try today whether your work is in an office, at home chasing kiddos around, or wherever!



Related reading:

Extreme Transformation Sneak Peek Workout
Underarm Flab Frustration: The Gym Mistake That?s Keeping You From Sexy Arms
My Top 4 Fat-Blasting Cardio Workouts
Transformation Tip | 5 Minutes to Fight Fat and Get Fit
Commercial Break Workout: Total Body Blaster

14 Responses

  1. Your descriptions and photos make this workout easy to follow. These exercises are best for the desk bound professional. Thank you so much for these tips!

  2. wow, this looks so simple, but it actually helps a lot. Heidi, you are a true inspiration, just one look at you make me wanna move and grab some band or weights!
    Thank you

  3. My favorite blog post HAS to be “FIT ON THE JOB! 6 TIPS + 14 EXERCISES FOR THE DESK BOUND PROFESSIONAL” because this weighs heavily on my heart. I am a true desk jockey,…i am the office manager at my local animal shelter and bookkeeping is what I do. I worry all the time about getting enough exercise in during a day as I know how detrimental it can be to stay sedentary all day long. I also have scoliosis of the lower and upper cervical spine and as such extra weight on my frame is extra detrimental. This post gave me such pause and inspiration to know that I can do what I love to do and be health all at the same time. I now make it a goal to get my workout in first thing in the morning so that I can be sure to get a good deal of movement in before the day even begins. Then during the day I now have an aresnal of activities and movements i can do during the day to keep my blood pumping, my body moving and my mind sharp. Thank you so much Heidi for devoting your life to the health of so many around you.

  4. Brand new here. Just bought your book. I am a senior and I am inspired. It’s never too late, right???
    Please explain, again, the little ab exercise you did on the OZ Show for tightening your abs. I am down 40# with 25 more to go. I am enjoying the journey……..but this poor body needs to get stronger.
    Thank you for just being you!!!!!

  5. This is SO AWESOME! LOL
    I am at home every-single-day (for the most part). I ACTUALLY keep dumbells under my desk (2 different pairs – 1 very light weight soft grip pair so I can do ‘chi gung punches’ – forward then to the left and to the right and center and then very slowly again all angles). The second heavier pair I DO a lot of those moves on this page! :O (Shocked I might be doing something right!) πŸ˜€ But this is such a good affirmation to KEEP moving – even if at my desk (As I so frequently am). I am trying to also find my husband’s ankle weights so I can march whilst sitting (or try to find an inexpensive back up pair so I can get busy!) I hope to see more ‘at home’ (low equipment needed) moves to keep moving! LOVE this! Thank you from one Heidi to another, this was *Exactly* what I needed (I’m behind on my workout session for today!) >=/ lol!! (DO you have any recommendations for ‘bands’ – I have a three set of ‘fit nation’ bands which just are NOT enough) Thank you. And thank you for sharing your blog as you do!

  6. Thank you so much for these tips! With a husband that travels lots for work and a 2 year old at home it’s so hard for me to get to the gym and it’s killing me! I brought my dumbbells and resistance bands to work and my boss is okay with me taking my breaks and using them. This combined with intervals on the stationary bike in the break room on my lunch will help me out so much! I’m even getting coworkers to join me. Thank you again!!! πŸ™‚

  7. I was with you until the bring the dumbells to the office part, I think I would get the sack for that one. Some nice ideas for a seated workout but maybe more appropriate for people that work from home?

    1. I was thinking the same thing:/ Especially being in a wide open cubicle. Just set my recurring reminder for the top of every hour to get up and move though!

  8. I do squats while I cook and arm workouts with 10lbs while I wait for food to be done. Down 36lbs since the last week of January. 14 more lbs to my goal weight

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