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12 exercises you could do at work: Workout

By The Washington Post

The Post’s infographics department tested 12 exercises for a week to see which ones real people could incorporate into a workday. These moves were recommended by experts whose jobs involve studying motion, preventing obesity and generally getting people off their duffs.

Raise the roof (20 reps)

While marching in place, push toward the ceiling with your palms up and thumbs almost touching your shoulders. Make it harder by holding water bottles.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: One person found it “comforting” to dust off a 1990s dance move.

Thumbs downCon: Brief panic while you try to remember if you shaved your armpits.

Triceps kick (20 reps)

While marching in place, bend at the hips, about 45 degrees. Bend your elbows, then extend them behind you as if you are lifting weights.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Loosens your upper body.

Thumbs downCon: Awkward-looking. Several people accidentally whacked things behind them.

The Hulk (20 reps)

Keep marching and leaning. With your elbows bent and fists together in front, move your arms back like wings. Try to touch your shoulder blades together.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Some people make funny sound effects.

Thumbs downCon: Draws attention to the chest area.

Hamstring curl (20 reps)

Bend arms at the elbow. Bring one foot up toward your rear end while straightening your arms so that your hands are down when your foot is up.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Not terribly noticeable.

Thumbs downCon: Requires caution to avoid kicking things behind you.

Knee lift (20 reps)

Just like hamstring curls, except you lift your knee up in front as your arms go down.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Wakes up the hip flexors and quadriceps.

Thumbs downCon: Requires extra concentration and coordination.

Hallelujah (20 reps)

Sweep arms above your head and down again as you step side-to-side. Actually yelling ”Hallelujah!” is optional.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Made us smile. Lends a flash-mob feel to even the least coordinated group.

Thumbs downCon: Not the slightest bit subtle.

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Punching (20 reps)

While rocking foot to foot, punch with alternating arms. To reduce elbow stress, try not to fully straighten your arm.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Cathartic; an outlet for aggression.

Thumbs downCon: Most workplaces do not allow you to actually hit anyone.

Desk pushup (10 reps)

Place hands on edge of desk, shoulder width apart, legs out behind you. Push off with as much force as you can.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Not noticeable from across the room. Tough, in a good way.

Thumbs downCon: First, make sure your desk doesn’t slide easily.

Side lunge (10 per side)

Place hands on edge of desk, shoulder width apart, legs out behind you. Push off with as much force as you can.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Doesn’t attract much attention.

Thumbs downCon: Can be hard on knees.

Jump squats (10 reps)

Make sure you have space in front of you. Bend into a half-squat with your arms behind you, then jump and swing your arms up as if you’re celebrating.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: Best calorie-burner of the moves we tried.

Thumbs downCon: Tall people (or high-hopping short people) will hit eight-foot ceilings.

Chair dips (10 reps)

With your legs out in front of you, grab the edge of a chair (or desk) and lift yourself down and back up. At the end, you’ll be conveniently back in your seat.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: The most discreet of the bunch. Really works triceps.

Thumbs downCon: Can bother wrists. Be careful if your chair has wheels!

Walking (10 min.)

Lap your block or a floor of your office. Try for a pace of 100 steps per minute, which is easy if you don’t stop to play with tchotchkes on other people’s desks.

Our thoughts:

Thumbs upPro: No one will notice. Great excuse for a stroll to Starbucks.

Thumbs downCon: Indoor laps get old; outside, you’re at the mercy of the weather. Takes more time than a few quick moves at your desk.

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