Standing at Your Desk Exercises

July 13, 2021 6 min read

Standing at Your Desk Exercises

It can be extremely challenging to find time for any physical activity during the working week. After a long day at work, it can be difficult to come home and exercise. However, it is vital that you take good care of your health. We all know that prolonged sitting increases risks for cardiovascular disease and obesity. It also leads to poor posture and body pain. And according to the World Health Organization, adults should exercise for at least half an hour daily. Therefore, you should protect your health by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.

Movement, while you do your job, is beneficial for you. Even if you are at work for long hours every week, there are ways you can keep moving while you work in order to stay healthy. In this article, we will take a look at a few exercises you can do whilst working at your standing desk.

What Are Standing Desks?

Standing desks are becoming more popular at work. Also known as stand-up desks, they let you stand up and work comfortably. Consequently, you can choose whether to sit or stand while working.

What’s more, standing desks come with many health benefits.

  • Enhanced productivity
  • Increased energy levels
  • Decreased back pain
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Reduced risk of obesity

You probably know that the physical inactivity that comes with prolonged sitting can decrease your life expectancy. This is why employees prefer using standing desks to decrease sitting time.

Best Standing at Desk Exercises You Can Do to Stay Fit and Healthy

Standing desk exercises for abs

Here are some standing desk exercises for abs that you definitely need to try. These exercises will help ensure that you live a healthy and active life. They’re simple and effective, and you can easily incorporate them into even short breaks while you’re working.

1. Medicine ball overhead circles


Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Grab a medicine ball with your hands straight overhead and use it to draw a big circle in the air. Keep your hips straight and engage your core throughout.

2. Standing twist


Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, arms in goal post pose, dumbbells in both hands, and your knees bent. Turn to your right, keeping your hips straight, and using the upper half of your body to twist.

Now turn to your left. Level the shoulders throughout and widen across the chest. Turn from side to side for 60 seconds.

3. Side leg raise


Stand straight with feet hip-distance apart and grab dumbbells in both hands. Bend from the waist to your right and at the same time let your right foot rise off the ground, keeping a straight leg and arm.

Engage oblique muscles for a side crunch. As you come back to the beginning position, tap your right foot to the ground and start your next repetition instantly. Do the right side for 60 seconds, then the left side for 60 seconds.

4. Chair pose twist  (Utkatasana pose)


This is a standing yoga posture that strengthens your hips, butt, and thighs. In fact, it tones your whole body. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, put your hands behind your head, bend your knees, and send your hips back.

Turn the upper half of your body to your right, touching your right knee with your left elbow with each bend. Now turn to your other side to finish one repetition. Perform 20 repetitions.

5. Single-leg sprint


Begin in a low lunge pose with arms outstretched overhead and left knee bent. Bring your chest over your left thigh by hinging forward at your hips.

Use your core to raise your right knee toward your chest and let your arms come in at the sides. Replace your leg on the ground and move forward again. Perform 20 repetitions and alternate sides.

6. Standing crossover toe touches

It is a fun and easy exercise. Stand with your feet in a wide stance, greater than hip-width apart, and extend your arms to make a T. Engage the core, turn your torso to your left, and reach for your left foot with the right hand. Repeat, switching sides, for 60 seconds.

7. Standing side crunches

Stand with your feet a few inches wider than hip-distance apart. Hold dumbbells in both hands and place your arms in a goal post position. Bend at your waist and do a side crunch by bringing the left elbow to the left thigh.

Make sure to keep your shoulders and arms in the same place throughout so you are forced to use your oblique muscles to do the move. Do the right side for one minute and then do left side for one minute. Then alternate sides for one minute.

8. Dumbbell side bend


Grab a dumbbell in your hand. Now stand with feet hip-distance apart and bend from the waist to your right.

Keep your torso upright by engaging your core. Do the right side for 60 seconds and then do the left side for 60 seconds. Switch sides for 60 seconds.

9. Reverse chop with medicine balls


Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and grab a medicine ball with your hands at the height of your chest. Move the medicine ball to the outside of the right foot, letting your feet pivot and knees bend.

Raise the medicine ball across the torso and overhead to your left. Perform 10 repetitions, alternating sides.

10. Standing stabilization


Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, use your hands to hold a dumbbell, and extend your arms in front of your chest.

Press down your shoulders and straighten your arms. Now turn the upper half of your body to your right and then come back to the center. Perform 10 repetitions to the left and 10 repetitions to the right. Switch sides for 10 repetitions.

11. Wide second side crunch

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and grab dumbells in both hands. Turn your toes outward and drop into a wide squat by keeping your torso in line with your hips, bending your knees, and squeezing your glutes. Make sure not to stick your butt out.

Lift your arms up into a 90-degree, goal-post position, engage your core, and turn to your right, tapping your elbow to your thigh. Perform 10 repetitions to the left and 10 repetitions to the right. Switch sides for 20 repetitions.

12. March with a twist


Stand with your core braced, your arms overhead, your shoulders down, and your feet approximately hip-distance apart.

Now move your right elbow towards the left knee as you rotate through your waist. After that, return to the starting position and repeat the exercise on the opposite side. Use your core to squeeze the oblique muscles throughout and raise the knee. Repeat, alternating sides, for one minute.

Other exercises

Here are some more exercises that you can do at your standing workstation. 

1. Shoulder rolls

Shoulder rolls are a great exercise for reducing tension and stress in your shoulders. They stretch and warm up your joints and muscles, and help decrease pain in your shoulder area. While standing with your feet hip-distance apart, breathe in and raise your shoulders up towards your ears. Then, move the shoulders back, squeezing them together. Breathe out and drop your shoulders back to the initial position. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

2. Stand still on the board

While there are many ways to stay healthy with your stand-up desk, a balance board opens up a wide range of possibilities. In fact, you can strengthen your core muscles simply by standing still on the board.

3. Forward lunges

Put the board in front of you and finish a forward lunge. Use your front leg to control the movement of your balance board. Make sure you never allow your knees to go beyond your toes while performing a forward lunge.

4. Twist 'n shout


Balance on the balance board and turn your waist slowly to one side and then turn it to the other side. Keep your hips and back tight. Your lower half should stay facing forward while your upper body twists to the side. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

5. Stand on one foot

Stand at the center of your balance board on one leg without taking the support of your standing desk. Maintain good posture and tighten your back and abs. After 30 seconds, alternate to the opposite leg.

6. Rock and roll motion

Once you are well balanced, lean back and forth and left to right, making both sides of the balance board touch the floor while maintaining balance at the center. Engage your stomach muscles and back muscles and move slowly.


You should perform the above-mentioned standing desk exercises throughout your workday to stay active and healthy. It’s important to keep in mind that regular movement is vital for maintaining our health. These exercises offer you a way to keep yourself fit and healthy even while working.

Have you tried any of these standing at desk exercises? Let us know in the comment section!


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