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Revitalise Your Body: The Best Exercise To Do After A Day At The Desk

In our modern, technology-driven world, many of us spend extended periods sitting at a desk, whether for work or leisure.

Prolonged sitting can lead to various health concerns, including poor posture, muscle stiffness, and decreased circulation.

Side stretch to break up desk sitting
Side stretch to break up desk sitting

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Sitting fatigue relief exercises are a necessity!

I am often asked by patients for a simple, quick desk mobility routine, quick desk exercises, desk-bound workouts, sitting fatigue relief, posture-improving exercises, office ergonomics stretches, sitting recovery exercises, a desk-friendly workout or desk-based exercises, for when there is no time to take a break and stand up.

Revitalising exercises for desk workers

The good news is that incorporating simple and effective exercises into your routine can counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting.

In this blog post, we will explore the best exercise to do after sitting at a desk to revitalise and enhance your overall well-being.

What are the best sedentary lifestyle exercises, prolonged sitting exercises & posture improvement exercises?

Standing or Walking Breaks

Revitalise after sitting!

One of the simplest yet highly effective ways to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting is to take standing or walking breaks throughout your day.

Set an alarm to remind yourself to stand up and stretch or take a short walk around your office or home. This helps improve blood circulation, prevents muscle stiffness, and boosts your energy levels.

What desk exercises are best to do after sitting & what are the best chair stretches for desk workers?

The best desk fatigue exercises after sitting include the following quick office exercises or desk job stretches including muscle tension relief exercises:

Neck and Shoulder Stretches

Sitting for extended periods can lead to tension and stiffness in the neck and shoulder muscles.

Perform gentle neck stretches by tilting your head from side to side and forward and backward. You can also roll your shoulders backward and forward to alleviate tension in the shoulder area.

Seated Spinal Twist

This desk mobility exercise helps to release tension in the spine and improve spinal mobility.

Sit up straight in your chair, place your right hand on the backrest of the chair, and your left hand on your right knee. Gently twist your torso to the right, using your hands to assist the twist. Hold for a few breaths and then switch sides.

Chair Squats

Chair squats are a great way to engage your leg muscles after sitting for a while.

Stand up in front of your chair, lower yourself into a squatting position while keeping your chest up, and then sit back down. Repeat this movement for a set number of repetitions.

Post-sitting stretches:

Chest Opener Stretch

Sitting for extended periods can cause the chest muscles to become tight and rounded.

Stand up and interlace your fingers behind your back, then gently lift your arms while squeezing your shoulder blades together. This stretch opens up the chest and promotes better posture.

Hamstring Stretch

Tight hamstrings are a common result of prolonged sitting. You can decrease hamstring tightness by incorporating simple office chair stretches.

Sit on the edge of your chair, extend one leg straight out with your heel on the floor, and gently lean forward from your hips. You should feel a stretch in the back of your extended leg. Hold for a few breaths and switch sides.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are a simple exercise that can be done anywhere. While standing, rise up onto the balls of your feet, hold for a moment, and then lower your heels back down.

This exercise helps improve circulation in the lower legs and engages the calf muscles.

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I have combined the above benefits, including opening the front of your hip, into a workplace movement routine, see video below:

Office Desk Workout Routine

The best exercise when you've been sitting at your desk a while is lunges to get your muscles and joints moving and blood flow through your body and brain.

After alternating lunges or same leg lunges holding a wall for balance, if you're wobbly, kneel down and stretch your hip flexors and side.

Then add some arm and body rotations to loosen tension in your neck, upper back and shoulders.

Then with straightening and bending your front knee a few times, with your hands on the floor, or shin if you're hamstrings are tight.

To finish flex and point your front foot a few times to stretch your calf and if you can, draw your foot towards you with your hand, holding the wall for balance.

Careful not to over stretch your back.


Incorporating these exercises into your routine can make a significant difference in how your body feels after spending hours at a desk.

Remember that consistency is key – performing these exercises daily can help prevent the negative effects of prolonged sitting and contribute to your overall health and well-being.

It is important to have a routine of sedentary work stretches including ergonomic desk exercises.

By taking a few minutes to move and stretch, you can revitalise your body, avoid stiffness, pain and injury and feel more energised throughout the day.

Let me know how did you go? 👋

Which was your favourite exercise and why?

Which was your least favourite exercise and why?

Any questions? 🙋‍♀️

Comment below 👇

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  Emma Najman, Oncology Rehab and NDIS Registered Provider Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor and Yoga Therapist
Emma Najman, Oncology Rehab and NDIS Registered Provider Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor and Yoga Therapist


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