(Don’t) Work for It: Quick Office Exercises to Keep Your Body Moving During Work Breaks

In a world where the lines between work and personal life are blurred; we increasingly tend to neglect self-care and draw boundaries for ourselves. As email after email keeps piling on, we become so immersed in our tasks that we remain glued to our seats. However, the effects of a sedentary lifestyle with a lack of exercise can turn into something serious. Especially with jobs that require one to be stationed at the desk endlessly, and not getting enough physical movement through the day can potentially be dangerous and even lead to cardiovascular complications. To be on your toes, in this case, really means to look after your health, especially that of the heart.

We understand that there aren’t enough hours in the day and that your hectic schedule may not permit an elaborate workout. But simple easy exercises between work or during work breaks can also help. These easy-to-do exercises will ensure physical movement and therefore, help keep your heart and overall health in check. 

Exercise for Upper Body: Desk Push-Up 

Desk push-ups can be a simple desk exercise,  which targets your chest, shoulders, and arms. To perform a desk pushup: 

  • Move 2 feet away from your desk or at a distance where your wrists align with your shoulders. 
  • Place your hands down on the desk to find yourself leaning on it diagonally. 
  • Bend your elbows so that your chest lowers towards the desk (make sure to keep your elbows inward close to your body). 
  • Now straighten out the elbows so that you are back to the starting position — wrists aligned with shoulders. 
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 

Exercise for Lower Body: Squats 

A quick yet effective office workout, this movement targets the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves. To perform a squat: 

  • Keep your feet parallel to your shoulders and your toes slightly facing outward. 
  • Keep your spine straight, and shoulders pushed back, and relax your chest. 
  • Keep your heels pressed into the ground and be conscious they stay that way for the entire movement. 
  • Now, slowly start bending your knees as your hips push backwards, engaging your core as you lower (mimicking sitting on a chair) — make sure your hips don’t go too far behind. 
  • Keep your hands either folded together in front of your chest or you could leave them loose – folding them upward. 
  • Keep your knees locked and ensure they don’t extend forward farther than your toes.
  • Make sure your chest is in an upright position.
  • Keep lowering down as far as you can go.
  • Keep your shoulder/upper body and lower back stable. 
  • Now, using your heels, push yourself back upright to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 

Exercise for Strong Core: Seated Oblique Twists 

One of the effective options for office chair exercises, this movement targets your obliques and core. To perform oblique twists: 

    • If you have a rotating chair, seat yourself with your hands placed on the desk in front of you.
    • Now, twist yourself to the far right using your hands while engaging your core. 
    • Then, using your core muscles, make the same movement on the left side. 
    • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 
  • Note: In case you do not have a rotating chair, follow the same movement with your arms up, holding the back of your head.

Exercise for Full Body/Cardio: High Knees or Jumping Jacks

Another quick office workout, this movement targets the entire body for a full body pump. 

To perform high knees: 

    • Keep your feet about hip-to-shoulder-width apart and let your arms rest by your sides.
    • Keep your head straight, chest relaxed, and core tight.
    • Now, keep your hands in front of you, palms facing down. First, lift your right knee up towards your chest, above waist level till it touches your elbow. 
    • Bring your right knee down and repeat with the left.
    • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 
  • Note: You can either keep the pace slow in a walking motion or increase the pace in a jogging motion. The entire movement must be done standing in place.

To perform jumping jacks: 

  • Keep your feet about hip-to-shoulder-width apart and let your arms rest by your sides.
  • Now, jump as you spread your feet apart and simultaneously raise your hands upwards to point towards the sky. 
  • Jump again to return to the original position.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times in 3 sets. 

If these exercises feel like they are more intense for you, yoga is also a great alternative to stay physically fit and boost heart health. Here are 5 Yoga Asanas for Staying Heart-Healthy
Let’s get moving and hop, skip, and jump our way to a healthier heart!


Tips to Stay Healthy while Working from Home


We’ve all been through the phase where juggling between work and life can be all too overwhelming. This especially holds true ever since we entered the pandemic nearly two years ago, where the lines between both, work and personal life were easily blurred. It’s easy to forget about ourselves in the middle of all the chaos and in the process, we most often neglect our health. 

No matter how hectic things get, it is of utmost importance that we prioritise our well-being. If we continue to put fitness on the back burner, it can cause serious problems in the long run. Several factors contributed by work from home such as prolonged working hours, lack of/reduced exercise, stress, and unhealthy eating habits and can eventually lead to cardiovascular diseases

Here are a few health and well-being tips at work that you can follow — be it work from home or for when you resume office.

Maintaining a Heart-Healthy Diet 

There is no question about the merits of a heart-healthy diet and the wonders it can do for your health. Healthy eating habits for office workers are essential for making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs for nourishment and maintaining a healthy weight. Try to choose foods that are rich in antioxidants (fruits such as apples, oranges, and mango; vegetables such as spinach, lentils, tofu, and soybean; nuts and seeds such as almonds, cashews, flax, and chia). Also, eat more whole foods over processed foods to reap the benefits of all their nutritional value, and limit salt and sugar intake. All these changes will help ensure you’re stepping closer to a healthier heart. 

Looking to start your journey but not sure how? Read The Beginner’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy Diet.

Staying Hydrated

A seemingly obvious but easily forgotten biological need is regular hydration for our body. When you get caught up in emails, calls, and other work, you forget that you still need to hydrate yourself with sufficient water for optimal functioning. Studies also show that hydrating well can prevent or reduce the risks of heart failure. This happens in two ways: 

  • Serum sodium exceeding 142mmol/l increases the risk of adverse effects on the heart and hydration levels should be evaluated regularly along with sodium intake.
  • There is also a connection between hydration and thickening of the walls of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) – called left ventricular hypertrophy – which is a precursor to heart failure diagnosis and physical examinations should be done periodically. 


Very often, long working hours also mean a decline in physical activity. Working from home typically requires you to be confined to certain spaces or your desk, while also being glued to the screen. However, getting enough movement and exercise is critical to heart health. It keeps weight in check, regulates blood pressure, and lowers bad cholesterol. Exercises to stay fit when working from home can vary between something more intense such as a complete workout circuit or even 30 minutes of brisk walking, 5 days a week might be good for the heart

If you’re looking for something less strenuous and beneficial for heart health, you can also consider yoga. Since it is a highly effective relaxing and mindful technique, it decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases by keeping in check your body weight, blood pressure, and physical and psychosocial stressors while detoxifying the body. 

Look After Your Mental Health

Giving work all your time over your health — both physical and mental can be detrimental. Work is a necessary part of life, but it should never be at the cost of your health and well-being. If you have a clear separation between work and personal life and make time to do things purely to bring you joy and enough rest, you will be more content, and happy, and feel less resentment towards your job. In today’s scenario, the burnout rate is much quicker and can very well lead to cardiovascular problems

Working in isolation can also impact health. Try to avoid working in isolation and interact with people whenever possible. Interact more with your colleagues or the people around you at home to feel more connected and comforted, because a sense of being could potentially impact heart health too

It’s important to take into consideration all of the steps mentioned above and follow these health tips at work to put your mental and physical health at the very front and centre, given that it has a direct relationship with your heart health too. 

Setting a work-from-home daily routine can help you feel more in control of your life and ensure that you are following through with all the little steps along the way towards a healthier heart.