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Desk Workouts 2023: 5 Exercises To Beat Sleepiness At Your Office
Desk workouts are one popular craze taking the professional world by storm. Big brands like Peloton specialize in making fitness convenient and manageable for anybody, on any schedule.
These products go far beyond the all-but-forgotten abdominal roller lying idle in your home office; it’s a technology that puts the capabilities of an entire gym right in your home.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need a Peloton or an exercise bike in order to squeeze in a quick workout at your desk (although we can confirm that they are, in fact, awesome for this purpose). Get ready to kiss those depressing afternoon blues at the office goodbye.
5 Exercises To Beat Sleepiness At Your Office
- Tricep Chair Dips
- Desk Squats
- Standing Leg Pulses
- Standing Desks
- Advanced Desk Exercise Gear
5 Desk Workouts You Can Try At Your Desk
No matter how you prefer to break a sweat, there’s plenty that you can do at your desk to stay active during your downtime.
Some of these desk exercises can be entirely equipment-free, and others require things like dumbbells or other exercise gear. All of these options are perfect for both experienced fitness fanatics and beginners just trying to keep themselves in shape.
Tricep Chair Dips
Tricep dips are some of the most desk-friendly workouts that you’ll find. All that you need is a chair with no wheels and the floor below you.
- Sit on the chair. Plant your feet on the ground in front of you.
- Press your palms into the seat of the chair, right at the edge, next to you on either side.
- Lift your bum off of the chair and dip below it in front so that your elbows make two ninety-degree angles.
- Straighten your arms, lifting your body up.
- Repeat until your next big Zoom meeting.
Squats are the perfect booty buster for those short afternoon lulls between assignments or tasks. All that you have to do is scoot your chair out of the way, and you’re ready to plunge.
- Stand in front of your desk with your feet spread as far as is comfortable.
- Hold onto your desk for support and squat in front of it.
- Press your hands into the desk to help you stand back up.
- As you become stronger, you may not need the desk for leverage.
The best part about desk squats? When duty comes calling again, all that you’ll have to do is sit right back into your throne.
Standing Leg Pulses
You can do leg pulses against your desk with your palms supporting you against its surface. They’re incredibly simple and can be done either with a bent knee or with your active leg outstretched, ballerina-style.
- Lean forward and lift one leg up slightly behind you with your hands on your desk.
- Pulse the leg behind you up and down.
- After performing as many sets as desired, switch and repeat on the other side.
These will end up being as challenging as you make them. You can go more slowly for a deeper burn or keep them light, shallow, and quick to focus more on your heart rate.
Standing desks are just what they sound like ordinary desks are either set upon taller legs or adjustable to a comfortable standing height.
The math is simple: standing burns more calories than sitting, effectively increasing your resting metabolic rate for the day. If your profession is technical, complicated, and focus-intensive, a standing desk is one way to keep your body active at your desk without distracting from your responsibilities.
In an educational setting, standing desks have been shown to improve the executive function and short-term memory of students and provide one convenient measure against a sedentary school day. Over two semesters, the results validating the benefits of standing while learning were more than conclusive.
Advanced Desk Exercise Gear: Peloton Desk Bikes and Walking Desks
Walking desks and bike chairs are a relatively recent movement in the world of fitness; these devices actually have you walking, jogging, or pumping pedals at your desk, the same cardio you enjoy in your off-hours at the gym.
The perks that office fitness gear confers include all of the benefits of ordinary exercise after work – more effective glucose management, lower cholesterol, and many other associated health benefits that soar high above what a standing desk alone will offer.
Both will make you more alert and burn more calories than prolonged sitting all day. If you can afford and accommodate a treadmill desk or a bike chair, either of these will be an objectively superior option.
The Health Benefits Of Office Exercise
The most studious and hard-working among us are already rolling their eyes. Why expend energy working out when there are more important matters to attend to when at work or school, piling up in our inboxes and to-do lists?
Daily exercise is one lifestyle commitment that will keep your mental facilities sharp throughout your entire life. Attention span, impulse control, and even working memory all stand to benefit greatly from regular exercise, according to many studies. If exercise at your desk is the best fit for your needs and schedule, why not take advantage of a desk workout routine?
Moreover, cycling and exercise, in general, have both been shown clinically to stimulate an arousing effect in terms of cognitive performance; this effect can be shown at work both in the moment and for some time after the fact. Elevating your heart rate might actually prime you for a more productive and efficient working day, turbo-charging your afternoon productivity long after your morning cappuccino has already run its course.
Another common objection to desk workouts: doesn’t it leave you starving all day as you struggle to focus on the mental work that your job or schoolwork requires?
One study found no significant difference between the hunger levels of trial participants who exercised on a cycling desk while performing a mental task and those who simply performed the mental task alone. Both perceived appetite and short-term food intake were consistent among the two groups of test subjects.
Stay Active No Matter Where You Are
The office, stereotypically, is seen by many as a necessary evil, but your own working area doesn’t have to be devoid of joy. Moving your body, even briefly, can often be more invigorating than a cup of coffee. Why shouldn’t your desk be yet another place to celebrate your body and your health?
With any luck, at least one of these desk exercises hits the spot for you. They’re the perfect way to prime yourself for the work ahead on your plate (and your real gym session later on, too!).
+ 6 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- Guiney, H. and Machado, L. (2012). Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, [online] 20(1), pp.73–86. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13423-012-0345-4
- Lambourne, K. and Tomporowski, P. (2010). The effect of exercise-induced arousal on cognitive task performance: A meta-regression analysis. Brain Research, [online] 1341, pp.12–24. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006899310007547
- Thivel, D., Genin, P., Fillon, A., Khammassi, M., Roche, J., Beaulieu, K., Finlayson, G., Chaput, J.-P., Duclos, M., Tremblay, A., Pereira, B. and Metz, L. (2021). Effect of Acute Exercise and Cycling Desk on Energy Intake and Appetite Response to Mental Work: The CORTEX Study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, [online] 18(4), pp.433–439. Available at: https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/jpah/18/4/article-p433.xml
- Bodker, A., Visotcky, A., Gutterman, D., Widlansky, M.E. and Kulinski, J. (2021). The impact of standing desks on cardiometabolic and vascular health. Vascular Medicine, [online] 26(4), pp.374–382. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1358863X211001934
- Mehta, R., Shortz, A. and Benden, M. (2015). Standing Up for Learning: A Pilot Investigation on the Neurocognitive Benefits of Stand-Biased School Desks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, [online] 13(1), p.59. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/1/59
- MacEwen, B.T., MacDonald, D.J. and Burr, J.F. (2015). A systematic review of standing and treadmill desks in the workplace. Preventive Medicine, [online] 70, pp.50–58. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S009174351400454X