What Exercises Can You Do with a Standing Desk?

In today’s fast-paced world, many of us find ourselves spending long hours at our desks, often in a seated position. Prolonged sitting can lead to various health issues, including back pain, obesity, and poor posture. To counteract the negative effects of sedentary work, standing desks have gained popularity in recent years. These desks allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, promoting better posture and overall health. However, simply standing is not enough; incorporating exercises into your best standing desks routine can further enhance its benefits. In this article, we will explore a variety of exercises you can do with a standing desk to keep your body active and healthy.

Calf Raises:

One of the simplest exercises you can perform with a standing desk is calf raises. Stand with your feet flat on the floor and then raise your heels as high as possible, lifting your body onto your tiptoes. Lower your heels back down and repeat the motion. This exercise helps strengthen your calf muscles and improves circulation in your legs.

Leg Stretches:

While standing, extend one leg behind you and gently reach your toes to the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds to stretch your calf and hamstring muscles. Alternate between legs to keep them both limber and reduce the risk of stiffness.

Glute Squeezes:

Engaging your glutes can help alleviate lower back pain. Simply squeeze your glute muscles together and hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat this exercise throughout the day to strengthen your buttocks and support your lower back.

Desk Push-Ups:

Place your hands on the edge of your standing desk, shoulder-width apart. Step your feet back and keep your body in a straight line. Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the desk and then push back up to the starting position. Desk push-ups help tone your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Shoulder Shrugs:

To relieve tension in your shoulders and neck, perform shoulder shrugs. Simply raise your shoulders up toward your ears, hold for a moment, and then lower them back down. This exercise helps reduce stiffness and can improve your posture.

Seated Leg Swings:

If your standing desk allows for a comfortable seated position, you can do seated leg swings. Sit on the edge of your chair, extend one leg straight out, and swing it back and forth gently. This exercise promotes hip flexibility and can prevent your legs from feeling stiff.

Wall Sits:

Find a nearby wall and stand with your back against it. Lower yourself into a seated position, as if you were sitting in an invisible chair, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for as long as you can, aiming to increase your endurance over time. Wall sits are excellent for strengthening your quadriceps and improving your lower body strength.

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Desk Squats:

Similar to wall sits, desk squats can help strengthen your legs and glutes. Stand in front of your desk, facing away from it, and place your hands on the edge. Lower yourself into a squatting position, keeping your knees behind your toes, and then return to a standing position. This exercise can also improve your balance.

Desk Planks:

Place your forearms on the edge of your desk, with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Extend your legs straight out behind you and balance on your toes, forming a straight line from head to heels. Hold this plank position for as long as you can to engage your core and build abdominal strength.


Incorporating these exercises into your standing desk routine can help combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting and improve your overall health. Remember to take short breaks throughout the day to perform these exercises and keep your body active. As with any new exercise routine, it’s essential to start slowly and gradually increase intensity to avoid overexertion or injury. By taking proactive steps to stay active at your standing desk, you can enhance your well-being and productivity in the workplace.

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