5 ‘anti-desk exercises’ you can do for better posture

Desk work often leads to poor posture. While you love your desk job, improve your posture by doing some "anti-desk exercises."
Back pain
Improve your posture and get rid of back pain with these exercises. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 29 Dec 2022, 08:59 am IST
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You just need a laptop or a computer to get your work done in your office or home. It sounds convenient, but desk jobs can leave you with rounded shoulders, a tight chest, a rounded back, weak glutes, and tight hip flexors. Even though you know that you need to sit up straight while doing desk work, it is normally not possible to not slouch a little in between. After all, it’s at least eight hours of desk work. Giving up and leaving your job is not the solution. Don’t worry, as an expert has rounded up some simple anti-desk exercises that you can do to improve your posture and energize your body.

A bad posture is an issue because it can lead to problems such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and can also compromise your overall mobility.

The key to offsetting a bad posture is to engage in exercises that will counteract the hunched over position that you are in while sitting at your desk.

standing desk
Desk work often leaves you with a poor posture. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Health Shots connected with certified fitness expert Varun Rattan, who is also a co-founder of The Body Science Academy, Noida, to get an idea of “anti-desk exercises” that will counteract bad desk posture.

Exercises to reduce side effects of bad posture

Thoracic extension exercise helps to open up the chest

Got a tight chest? Try out this exercise to open up your chest.

1. To do this exercise, sit on a bench or chair that is around the same height as your desk.
2. Place your hands behind your head then lean back and lift your chest up towards the ceiling. Hold this position for five to 10 seconds and then return to the starting position.
3. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times.

Thoracic rotation for spinal mobility

If you want your spine to be healthy, do thoracic rotation exercise as it helps with spinal mobility.
1. This also involves a bench or chair, which is around the same height as your desk. Then sit on it to do the exercise.
2. Place your hands behind your head. Then rotate your upper body to the left and hold the position for five to 10 seconds.
3. Return to the starting position and then rotate your upper body to the right for the same duration. Repeat this exercise 10 times for best results, suggested the expert.

Wall angels for upper back and shoulders

Many people pose in front of colourful wings painted on walls. This exercise is similar to that, it’s just that you will have to move your arms. According to the expert, wall angels are great for strengthening your upper back and shoulders.

1. Stand with your back against a wall like you do while getting clicked with angel wings.
2. Raise your arms up to shoulder height and press the back of your hands against the wall.
3. Slowly drag your arms up and down the wall while keeping your elbows straight. Make sure that your arms, head, and back stay in contact with the wall the entire time. Do 10 repetitions of wall angels.

Glute bridges to strengthen glutes

It is a great exercise for strengthening not just your glutes, but also hamstrings and lower back.


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1. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
2. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor, and hold the position for five to 10 seconds.
3. Lower your hips back to the starting position then repeat this exercise 10 times.

HIIT exercises
Plank is a good exercise for strengthening your core. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Plank for strong core

The plank is a good exercise for strengthening your core.

1. Get into a push-up position and your feet hip-width apart.
2. Lower yourself to your elbows while keeping your fists pointing forward.
3. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the plank position for 20 to 30 seconds, and make sure to keep your core engaged the entire time.

Even though working at a desk can come with some unwelcome side effects, pick these exercises to combat poor posture.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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