Let your body work hard, the same way you do at your desk.

Bound to a desk job all day long? Here are some creative ways you can burn those calories while you are working hard!

  1. Tone your calves

Sit up straight at the edge of your office chair and with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your heels off the floor as far as possible. Lower your heels and repeat 10 to 15 times. Alternatively, bend your left leg and keep your right leg straight. Lift your straight leg and move it in small circles for 30 seconds. Repeat exercise for the left side. Calf exercises are a good way to burn calories (“Want to burn more calories? Please stand up!”) and tone your legs at the same time.

If you feeling more adventurous, you can train your abs as well! Lean slightly back in your chair and lift your feet off the floor, legs straight at 45 degree. Bend your knees towards your chest and bring them back out to the starting position. A strong core will promote better posture and better breathing.

  1. Maintain a good posture

Poor sitting posture changes the shape of the spine and places pressure around the spinal nerves. This can lead to health problems, such as back and neck pain. Sitting up straight with your shoulders back will work muscles in your back, shoulders and torso. This simple switch from slouching will expand your chest and allow you to take in larger breaths. Not only will you have more energy, you can burn more calories as well.

  1. Give yourself a good stretch

The small of your back has a natural curve and your lower back hunches the other way when you are sitting, leading to back pain. Stretching gets your blood flowing and can help to reduce lower back pain. Your body will burn calories whenever you start moving, even if it is just lifting your arm. In the office, sit up straight and raise your arms over your head. Clasp your hands together and lean to the left until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds and stretch over to the right.

  1. Get up, stand and walk

Instead of being tied to your desk all day, get up from your desk to talk to your colleague who is seated elsewhere. A UK study on walking groups indicated that walking has wide-ranging health benefits and made people mode physically active. Stand when you are using the telephone. While you are standing, you can put your hands on your hips, bend backwards and hold that bending position for about three seconds to relieve the stiffness.

  1. Laugh often

Yes, we know work can be stressful. All the more reason to laugh! Laughter has been linked to reduced muscle tension. A research published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that elevated heart rate and muscle movements during laughter increase energy expenditure and concluded that just 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories. Share jokes with your colleagues or watch a funny video. Go ahead, tickle your funny bone now!


British Journal of Sports Medicine

International Journal of Obesity (2007) 31, 131–137