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Office Exercises for Aches and Pains at Work

Barely a week goes by without us hearing about another study showing the negatives??of a sedentary lifestyle: an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, back pain and more. The ???Get Britain Standing??? campaign advises not sitting for more than four hours per day, which is unfortunately not always possible for those of us who need to be close to the computer. However, being a professional desk jockey doesn’t have to mean a death sentence. A recent study found that an hour of moderate activity – such as walking – can help to offset some of the longer term effects of a sedentary job. In addition to taking regular breaks to go for a short walk, here are some other??office exercises??to keep you moving without roaming too far from the coalface:

Office exercises: staying mobile

Perform these movements throughout the day to keep yourself limber:

Get the neck moving??by rotating it from side to side and up and down 10 times:

Stand up and reach up towards the ceiling to stretch out the lower back:

Standing back stretch

Place your hands across your chest and twist round 10 times each way to loosen up the spine:

Keep your extremities in good condition by wrist and ankle circles ??? 10 times each direction. You can also do a similar movement with the fingers and thumbs:

Office exercises: staying strong

Strengthening exercises aren’t just about building muscles to show off during Britain’s fleeting summer moments. Stronger muscles also take the load off joints and can help with aches and pains. Try doing 2 lots of 10 of each of these:

Squat by getting up and down out of your chair, squeezing your buttock muscles as you stand tall. Try to do it without pushing through your arms if possible. If your office chair has wheels, make sure it doesn’t roll away between repetitions. Short shorts are an optional extra:

Pull apart a resistance band held in front of you to strengthen your upper back, pulling your shoulder blades back throughout the movement:


A weight can be held in the hand and curled up at the elbow to develop the biceps. This can be done sitting or standing:

1kg dumbbells can be picked up in most pound stores these days and also make for an attractive paperweight between workouts. Alternatives include a water bottle or a tin of beans. Resistance bands can also sometimes be bought cheaply??in the high street, or are available online for about ??2-3.

Final thoughts

Hopefully this article has given you some ideas for some more physical??activities to do during work mini-breaks other than just looking at cat videos – unless it’s a video of a cat doing physio, of course. Staying mobile and keeping your muscles working regularly is really one of the best ways of dealing with minor aches and pains. For anything more persistent, seek the advice of a physiotherapist.