10 Standing Desk Exercises You Can Perform While Working - Our Guide

By Nadia Angelini

A common complaint that many office workers have is not having enough time to exercise. This can be a real issue since living a sedentary lifestyle can cause all sorts of health problems down the line. 

In this article, we’ll give you ten ways you can combat this concern with the help of a versatile sit/stand desk. All of these exercises can be performed at your desk while you work, so there’s no reason for you to not be able to do them.

You can follow this workout routine in the order in which they appear. Aim for at least 12 repetitions and three sets for each exercise, with about one minute of rest between each set. You can go as high as 20 repetitions and five sets once you get more used to the workout.

Let’s begin.


  • Squats – Targets your entire lower body

  • Squats are a great way to start off this workout since it really gets your blood pumping. 

    To perform this exercise, begin by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart and plant them firmly on the ground. Slowly bend at the knees and lower your buttocks as far as you comfortably can. Aim to get your upper legs parallel to the floor. Also, remember to keep your back straight and your chest high as you lower into position. Next, return to the starting position and contract your glutes as you reach the top.


  • Leg extensions – Targets your quadriceps, the muscles in the front of your upper legs

  • Follow up with leg extensions to improve your leg strength.

    Start by sitting on a chair and placing your feet on the floor with your knees bent at a right angle. Slowly lift one leg up until it’s fully extended and straight. Make sure you squeeze with your quadriceps at the top of the motion. Next, slowly lower your foot to the ground and repeat the process with your other foot.


  • Leg curls – Targets your hamstrings and glutes, the muscles in the back of your upper legs

  • Target the back of your leg next to tighten up your posterior.

    Begin by standing up with both of your feet pointing forward and slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Keep your upper leg locked in position while bending at the knee and raising your heel toward your thigh. Once at the top, squeeze with your glutes and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this process with your other leg.


  • Calf raises – Targets your calves

  • Finish off your lower body workout by targeting the complementary muscles of your lower legs.

    Begin by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. You can try different foot positions here with toes pointing straight ahead, away from each other, or toward each other. Slowly lift your heels up off the floor and hold this raised position for at least three seconds. While still maintaining tension in the calf, slowly lower your heels and return to the starting position.


  • Shoulder presses – Targets your shoulders

  • Move on to upper body conditioning beginning with your shoulders.

    You can use a lightweight with this exercise to make it more effective. First, stand tall with your hands raised and elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Slowly straighten and raise both hands above your head. Squeeze with your shoulders at the top of the motion and then return to the starting position.


  • Bicep curls – Targets your biceps, the muscles in the front of your upper arms

  • Keep the same weight you used for the previous exercise and work on those guns.

    You can perform this exercise standing or sitting. To begin, place both of your arms to your sides with palms facing forward. With your upper arms fixed in position, bend at the elbow and raise your hand toward your shoulder. Remember to squeeze at the very top and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this process with your other arm.


  • Tricep kickbacks - Targets your triceps, the muscles in the back of your upper arms

  • Continue using the same weight you used to work on the other side of your arms.

    Start by sitting on a chair and leaning slightly forward. Next, point your elbow to the wall behind you and position your hand so that your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Remember to keep your elbows close to your sides. With your upper arm fixed in place, slowly raise your hand to the back until your arm is straight, being careful not to lock your elbows as you reach the top of the movement. Then, slowly return to the starting position and repeat the process with your other arm.


  • Abdominal twists – Targets your abdominal muscles, particularly the obliques

  • Firm up that midsection by making use of the swiveling motion found in your chair.

    Begin this exercise by sitting on your chair and lifting your feet up. Grab onto your desk with your hands and using your abdominal muscles, swivel your chair from side to side. Try to perform a 180-degree motion with this exercise, and remember to keep the focus on your core.


  • Stationary march – Improves cardiovascular endurance

  • Finish off this workout routine with a march or jog to help shed those excess pounds.

    This exercise isn’t meant to be performed with repetitions and sets. Instead, aim to go for at least five minutes and then slowly work your way up to 20. Simply march or jog in place. You can even jump if you’d like.


    Wrapping Up

    We hope that his workout routine inspires you to start living a healthier lifestyle even if you’re incredibly busy at work. Remember to use controlled motions when performing any of these exercises. That means taking your time and paying attention to your form. Follow these tips and you’re bound to make progress.


    If you’re looking for a high-quality standing desk, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.