Make Time to Exercise With One-Minute Office Workouts


Even if a job requires sitting for eight or more hours, there are a few ways to combat the

effects of prolonged sitting with a variety of one-minute office workouts — right at your desk

— to keep active and improve your strength and flexibility.

For Lower Body Strength

Sit in your chair. Extend one leg out in front of you. Hold it straight for five seconds. Raise it as high as you can and hold for five more seconds. Switch legs and repeat, for a total of three times on each side.

For Your Core and Arms

Sit in your chair with your legs crossed in front of you (like a pretzel), and your feet on the seat. Place your hands on the armrests, engage your core and raise yourself a couple inches above the seat. Hold for 10 seconds. Rest a few seconds, and repeat five more times.

For Your Biceps

Sit tall with your abs pulled in. Hold a dumbbell or filled water bottle in one hand, with your arm stretched out straight and your palm facing the ceiling. Curl it up towards your shoulder and then back to the starting position 15 times. Alternate arms, and repeat.

To Stretch Stiff Muscles and Relieve Tension

Sit straight, facing forward. Turn your head to the left while turning your torso to the right.

Hold for 5 seconds. Keep alternating sides for a total of 60 seconds.

Every Little Bit Counts

The impact of movement — even a leisurely walk — can be compelling. The muscle activity needed to move the body triggers important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars. This burns more calories, which can lead to weight loss and increased energy. In contrast, these processes stall when sitting, and health risks increase. Standing and actively moving kicks the body’s vital processes back into action. Remember to consult with a doctor before starting any type of exercise regimen.


Here are a few simple ways to consider to keep your body moving during the workday:

  • Stand while talking on the phone or while eating lunch.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator, when possible.
  • Go for brief walks as often as possible.
  • Consider sit-to-stand desk options, when possible.
  • Walk or go to the gym during your break, when possible.
  • Replace desk chairs with an exercise ball for all-day core strengthening and reduced stress on the lower back.


The MBA knows that urgent employment issues can arise at a moment’s notice. Members can call our certified HR specialists and labor and employment law attorneys anytime, at no charge for counsel on a broad range of workplace-related issues including:

  • Hiring and firing practices
  • Company policies
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employment law
  • Employment agreements
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Affirmative Action Plans
  • Unemployment compensation claims
  • Employee handbook policies
  • OSHA compliance
  • Sexual harassment
  • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

Rose Bruno, PHR, SHRM-CP,

is an HR consultant at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or