3 Ways to Burn Calories at Your Desk

Sure, it would be great to go outside for a run or catch a nice long yoga class, but the fact is, you've got to work. You can still grab a workout, though, right at your desk. Here, three ways to work your body (without stepping foot from your desk).

1. Get on the Ball. 

Switch your office chair for a fitness ball for a wide variety of desk exercises.  According to the Mayo Clinic,  a firmly inflated fitness ball can improve your balance and tone your core muscles while sitting at your desk. You can even use the fitness ball for wall squats or other exercises during the day.

2. Desk Yoga.

Plenty of asanas (yoga postures) can be done right from your chair or in a small space near your desk.  Use the fitness ball to bump up the balance and core benefits of your desk-yoga practice.

  • Chair Twist. Scoot to the front of your chair and swing your thighs as close to your left armrest as possible to sit diagonally on the seat. Inhale and lift your right arm up to the ceiling. Lengthen your spine. Exhale and move your right arm to the back of your chair. Hold your right knee with your left hand and gradually twist to the right. Inhale again and lengthen your spine. Exhale and deepen the twist. Relax your back and lower your shoulder blades. Stay in the pose for 10 to 15 breaths. Exhale and return to center. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Shoulder Roll. Sit up straight and inhale. Lift your right shoulder to your ear. Exhale and slowly roll it back and down. Switch shoulders and repeat three times. Inhale and lift both shoulders together. Exhale and roll them back and down.

3. Work the Chair.

Use your chair as fitness equipment for your desk-exercise program. Give these exercises a try:

  • Magic Carpet Ride. Sit in your chair with your legs crossed and your feet on the seat. Then place your hands on the armrests, suck in your gut and raise yourself a few inches above the seat, using your belly, muscles and hands. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat five times.
  • Wooden Leg. Sit in your chair. Extend one leg out straight in front of you. Hold for two seconds. Then raise it up as high as you can, and hold it again for two seconds. Repeat with each leg 15 times.

Desk exercises and office-workouts can keep your muscles toned, mind sharp, and energy levels high all day. They can also decrease stress and help prevent work-place injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back and neck problems.