A Standing Desk Workout Anyone Can Do

If you have a standing desk, you probably chose it as a way to fight all the negatives that come from sitting for eight hours a day (you know, like gaining weight and having a higher risk for cardiovascular disease). But just standing isn’t going to get you too far. Research shows going from sitting to standing doesn’t crank up how many calories you’re burning. Plus, it can make your legs and joints hurt! “Staying in one position for too long isn’t great for your body, so you have to make sure you move around,” says Sarah Jane Parker, a certified personal trainer in Wyoming. 

Luckily, sneaking a workout in at your standing desk is easy to do. Try the following routine Parker came up with, which combines strength moves and stretching. They are easy enough that you can do them while reading emails or on a conference call and are so subtle you won’t have to worry about coworkers staring at you.

Standing Calf Raises: Rise up onto your toes, lifting your heels off the floor. Go slowly—take two counts going up and two counts coming back down. Do 15 to 25 reps (you can do both legs together or just do one leg at a time to make it more challenging).

Standing Leg Extensions: Engage your core—this prevents your lower back from arching too much—then extend one of your legs straight behind you, engaging your glutes as you go. Do 12 to 25 reps.

Standing Hamstring Curl: Bend one knee and bring your foot toward your glute, then release back down. Do 12 to 25 reps on each side.

Standing Calf Stretch: Move closer to one leg of your desk, lift the ball of one foot off the floor, and place it against the leg (you keep your heel on the floor). Lean your body into the desk and feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Standing Chest Stretch: Clasp your hands together behind your back, straighten your arms, and lift them up while drawing your shoulder blades down. You’ll feel your chest open, which should feel great after hunching forward at your desk. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat.

Standing Twist/Back Stretch: Bend your right knee and lift it up to hip height, so that you’re balancing on your left leg. Place left hand on your right knee and twist your torso toward the right. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. 

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