Stay in Shape at your Standing Desk

March 22, 2013


These simple exercises performed behind your adjustable height desk will help you stay in shape.

By standing behind your adjustable height desk you’re already burning more calories and bettering your health than if you were sitting down. And while that’s great and all, do you ever get bored just standing around?

That’s the great thing about an adjustable height desk. You can move around, you can alternate between sitting, standing, and somewhere in between. You can pace, you can dance, and yes, you can even get in a quick workout.

That’s what I’ll be going over in today’s post: working out behind your standing desk. It might sound a little bit…odd, but getting in a quick and simple workout while you’re at work is a great way to keep your energy up, stay in shape, and stay sharp throughout the day.

Of course I’m not asking you to jog five miles in between emails—for one thing, you’d come back all sweaty, and there simply isn’t time to do that in the workday. The workouts below are simple, they’re quick, and you can do many of them right behind your adjustable height desk.



  • Football Feet. You can do this seated or standing with your adjustable height desk. Simply tap your feet rapidly, like you’re running on fast-forward, for about 1 minute. Rest and repeat.
  • Step Climber. This is the most basic workout: Take the stairs to your office. If that isn’t tough enough, jog them or take them two at a time.
  • Calf Raises. Behind your adjustable height desk, raise your heels slowly off of the floor and then lower them. I’m doing them as I type right now—you won’t even need to take a break.
  • Lunges. You can do these in place or walking around your office. You might even start lunging down the hall to the printer instead of walking—just ignore the giggles.
  • Leg extensions. This is one you’ll need to do with your adjustable height desk in a seated position. Sit down, extend your right leg until it is level with your hip, and hold it for as long as you can. Then repeat with the left side.


  • Spinny-arm-things. Okay, there isn’t a name for this, but here’s what you do. Stand behind your adjustable height desk, extend your arms straight out from your shoulders like a T, then rotate them in small circles for about a minute. Do the same motion the other direction. It sounds simple, but after about 100 of them, you’ll feel it!
  • Shoulder raises. Raise your shoulders to your ear, hold, and then relax. Repeat. Easy.
  • Triceps dips. Put your arms behind your back, resting your palms either on your chair or on your adjustable height desk in a very low position. Raise and lower your body, using the triceps as your lever.
  • Push-ups. This is where your adjustable height desk really becomes a workout tool. Adjust the height of your adjustable height desk so that it is a bit above your navel. Do 10-15 push-ups here. Then lower it so that it is below your navel, about at your hips. Do 10-15 push-ups here. Finally, when you can’t lower your adjustable height desk anymore, you can do a set of push-ups on the ground, either from your knees or toes.
  • Flyers. This is very similar to the “spinny-arm-things” listed above. This time, though, you’ll stretch your arms out in front of you until your hands touch, and then behind until your hands touch (hopefully). Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Full Body and Cardio

  • Chair Squats. Squat down, knees over ankles, until you are almost sitting in your chair. Let your butt tap the seat, stand up, and then do it again.
  • Wall sits. Lean up against the wall, but squat down as though you are sitting in a chair. Stay here for about one minute, squeeze your abs tight into your back, and do not rest your hands on your legs for support.
  • Squat jumps. Squat down, touch the ground in between your legs with your hands, and then jump up, reaching your arms above your head.
  • Backward leg extensions. Using your adjustable height desk for support, stand on one leg and reach the other leg behind you, squeezing your glutes and the back of your thighs. Pulse your leg for about 20-30 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
  • Jumping jacks. This classic workout is great for the office. Just enough to get your heart rate up a little, but not enough to drench you in sweat before a meeting.

Stay in shape behind your adjustable height desk, or while getting to and around the office with these 15 simple workouts. Even if you’re not a gym member or marathon-runner, you can still stay healthy—just by going to work!

Do you use your adjustable height desk for office workouts? Share your workout ideas below!

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