10 Easy Ways to Burn Calories Without Leaving Your Desk

Woman kicking back at work

Working late doesn’t have to equal no exercise. Here are easy ways to burn calories while rocking that to-do list of yours.

Even though you already know what I’m about to say, I’m going to say it anyway: Sitting is evil. That being said, squeezing in a gym sesh when you’re on a tight deadline would mean getting your doppelganger to do your work while you burn calories… and you know, first you’d have to find your doppelganger.

Don’t fret, my pet: Here are 10 easy ways to burn calories without leaving your office (don’t mention it):

1. Stand up during certain tasks

Standing burns more calories that sitting, obvi. Designate certain tasks as standing tasks, such as taking phone calls or sorting through paperwork.

2. Use a fitness ball instead of a chair

Not all the time necessarily, just on days when heading to the gym isn’t an option – or you know, you’ve cheated slightly in the diet department. Not only will you burn calories, but you’ll improve your balance and tone your core.

3. Get jiggy with it

Small things like tapping your foot, wiggling around in your chair, tapping your pen and stretching – all without getting up – are itty bitty ways to burn hundreds of calories that require barely any effort. Just keep moving.

4. Do reverse crunches

Sit so that you’re closer to the edge of your seat and grip the armrests. With your knees together, slowly lift them off the ground and pull them as close to your chest as you can. Hold for a beat, then lower, all while keeping your back straight. Repeat as many times as is comfortable for you.

5. Straighten your legs

Straighten your legs until they’re parallel to the ground and tighten your quads. Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower your legs back down. Repeat. To build resistance, rest one foot over the opposite ankle as you straighten your leg.

6. Do desk push-ups

Place your palms on the edge of your desk, making sure your body is in a diagonal, straight line. Lower your chest and bend your elbows as far as you can, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat as many times as is comfortable (or until your boss is about to catch you).

7. Do seat squeezes

For buns of steel, squeeze your buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release – and you know, try not to giggle. Repeat.

8. Raise your calves

Waiting for something to print or software to download? Kill time by sculpting your calves: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, go up on your tip toes, hold for a few seconds, then lower. Repeat until you’re done with the whole waiting thing.

9. Lift your bod

Place each hand firmly in the center of your armrests and slowly raise your body off your chair until your arms are straight. Hold, then lower. Repeat as many times as is comfortable.

10. Swish in your chair

If you have a chair that swivels, then get ready for the most fun way to burn calories. Like, ever. Sit upright with your feet hovering over the floor. Hold the edge of your desk and use your core to swish your chair from side to side. Repeat for 15 reps… or until you have motion sickness.

How do you burn calories at work?

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Image: Alle

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).