How to Burn Calories at Your Desk

Are you at your desk all day? Too much sitting is linked to obesity and heart disease, according to new research to help steer away from these two health issues, there are four easy exercises below. Spend 30 seconds on each of the following moves, and try to do the mini workout several times a day (sounds like a lot, but the whole routine takes just two minutes total).

Experts also recommend taking quick breaks to walk around if possible—even if it’s as modest as stopping by a co-worker’s desk to ask her a question instead of emailing her, or running out for lunch rather than ordering in. And these exercises are no replacement for a real workout so don’t cancel your gym membership!

1: The Chair Dip

Goals: Arms, core

While sitting in your chair, place each hand firmly in the centre of the armrests. Lift your feet a few centimetres off the ground and engage your stomach muscles. Then press down with your hands to raise your body up off the chair, until your arms are straight. Hold for one count, and then lower into the chair. Repeat for thirty seconds. (Warning: Only do this exercise if your chair has sturdy arm rests that are strong enough to bear your body weight.)

2: The Desk Push up

Goals: Arms, shoulders

Stand up and face your desk. Place your hands shoulder-width apart against the edge, and then step back so you’re about three feet away from the desk. Keeping your back and legs in a straight line, do pushups against the desk. Lower down until your chest almost touches the edge, and then push yourself back up. Repeat.

3: The Seated Reverse Crunch

Goals: Core, inner thighs

Scurry forward so that you’re closer to the edge of your seat than to the back, and place your hands on the armrests. Put your knees together and slowly pull them up off the ground as close to your chest as you can get them. Hold for a beat, and then slowly lower down. Try to keep your back straight, rather than rocking back and forth. Repeat.

4: The Seat Squat

Goals: Legs, bottom

Push your chair back and stand a few centimetres in front of it. Your bottom should be facing the chair, your feet hip width apart. Hold your arms out straight in front of you, and then slowly bend your knees and lower down, so that your bottom goes backward, as if you’re about to sit down in the chair. Keep your weight on your heels, and as soon as you feel the chair graze your backside, stand back up—don’t relax into the seat. Repeat.