What is Deskercise? Thumbnail

A realistic, accessible, and buildable option to combat the physical tolls of a sedentary job is “deskercise”.


Work-related ailments can occur in all types of industries and work environments, including office and remote work spaces. Those of us who spend hours in one position a day may find their bodies starting to ache and develop poor posture. Research has shown that staying in the same position, repetitive motion, and poor posture can cause or worsen musculoskeletal disorders. Unfortunately, these conditions are the norm with the average desk job and the habits we build at our desk, especially while sitting, can contribute to physical discomfort and health issues.

A realistic, accessible, and buildable option to combat the physical tolls of a sedentary job is “deskercise”. This can simply look like stretching, walking and standing breaks, or a desk yoga routine. Stretching just a few minutes can relieve stress, boost energy, improve range of motion and posture, and overall increase your productivity. 

A variety of different stretching exercises are listed below along with the links for additional information and visual instructions.

Arm Stretches

One Arm Hug

  • Take one arm across your body and place it on the back of your opposite shoulder
  • To get a deeper stretch, use your other arm to push back on the elbow
  • You should feel this stretch on the outside of your arm and shoulder
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 2-3 times per arm

Tricep Stretches

  • Raise your arm and bend it so that your hand reaches toward the opposite side
  • Use your other hand and pull the elbow toward your head
  • Hold for 10-30 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side

Wrist Stretch

  • Press your palms together in front of your chest
  • Hold for 15 seconds
  • Next, push the backs of your hands together for a reverse stretch
  • Hold for another 15 seconds
  • Repeat 5 times

Back and Torso Stretches

Office Chair Back Stretch

  • While sitting, reach both hands behind your back and around the office chair
  • Once you have a good hold, arch your back and move your chest forward
  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 5 times

Reach for the Sky

  • Interlock both hands above your head, palms facing the ceiling
  • Sit straight up, then push your palms upward and elongate your spine
  • You should feel a nice stretch in your back
  • Make sure to keep your shoulders loose and relaxed
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat 5 times

Seated Lat Stretch

  • Raise one arm above your head and bend it slightly across your body
  • Grab your wrist with the opposite arm and gently tug down to get a deeper stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 3-5 times per arm

Leg Stretches

Calf Raises

  • Stand up and keep your legs straight and raise yourself by rolling up onto the ball of your foot while tightening your calf
  • Repeat 20 times

Hamstring Chair Stretch

  • While sitting, straighten your legs and fold your body towards your toes
  • Make sure to keep your back straight
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 3-5 times

Hip and Knee Flexion Stretch

  • Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest
  • Hold the pose for 10-30 seconds
  • Alternate

Head and Shoulder Stretches

Shoulder Shrug

  • Raise both shoulders at once up toward the ears
  • Drop them and repeat 10 times each direction

Neck Rolls

  • Relax and lean your head forward
  • Slowly roll toward one side and hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Relax again and lift your chin back to the starting position
  • Do this 3 times for each direction

Upper Trap Stretch

  • Gently pull your head toward each shoulder until a light stretch is felt
  • Hold the pose for 10-15 seconds
  • Alternate once on each side

For a yoga inspired “deskerise” routine, I would advise checking out this article here.

Considering your body and adding more movement throughout the workday is important and can lead to better habits and health in the long run. Stretching is an easy, accessible activity that encourages you to take breaks and reset your body, so you can be your best during and after work!


About the author:
re Orlando has been with CHE since August 2020. She is the HR Specialist for the HR Department. She obtained her aPHR (Associate Professional in Human Resources) certificate in 2020 and is currently studying to obtain her Master’s of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Bre currently resides in Bucks County, PA with her partner Nick and two cats (aka officemates) Tomo and Fox.