Desk Job? 4 Easy Ways to Stay Active in the Office

Stretching in the workplaceView the entire newsletter for more articles:  2016 – NJAC County Biz – November

by John Gallucci, Jr., MS, ATC, PT, DPT, President & CEO for JAG Physical Therapy

What can possibly happen from sitting down too long? For one, excessive sitting down encourages laziness and in extreme cases, can lead to obesity further down the line.

In the late 20th century, there was a worldwide increase in Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) due to the use of typewriters/computers in the workplace, since it requires long periods of repetitive motions in a fixed posture. Common conditions attributed to RSI in the hand/wrist are carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinosis, focal dystonia and many more.

Utilize Your Lunch Break

You can spend your lunch break however you want, so take advantage of this time! Got a few errands to run? Why not use this time!

Generally, it won’t take you more than half an hour to eat during your lunch. Think of the endless possibilities for the other 30 minutes. You can encourage colleagues to take a walk about the block or complex with you.

Find Reasons to Get Up Out of Your Seat

Do you find yourself emailing or messaging your colleagues who are just down the hall from you? Take the extra minute to walk over and speak to them face-to-face. If your office building has elevators, consider taking the stairs instead.

There’s a method in the madness of pacing while talking on the phone. For one, standing up makes one feel more authoritative when dealing with a difficult person on the opposite end of the phone. Also, it burns more calories than sitting!

There is Always Time for Stretches and Exercises

You can only go for so long staring at a computer screen. Even sitting in the same seat for too long can make you cause your muscles to cramp up and feel sore.

Here are a few stretches and workout you can do at or around your desk:


Calves – Stand and lean into your desk, keeping your heels on the floor. Slightly bend your knees to feel the stretch,

Thigh – Sit on the edge of your seat and pull your ankle up to your buttocks. Perform on both sides.

Neck – Slowly tilt your head toward your shoulder and hold for a few seconds on each side.

Arms – Pull your arm across the chest, hooking the other arm around it and slightly pulling. Perform on both arms.


Squats – Stand in front of your chair. Repeat sitting down and quickly standing back up.

Push-up – We all know how to perform a standard push up. Need some assistance? Lean against your desk and push away, maintaining a leaning position.

Curls – Keep 5-10 pound dumbbells within reach to curl during phone calls. Keeping your elbow close to the side of your body, hold the dumbbell up to your shoulder, straighten out and repeat.

For further information, contact Stuart Schwerner at (973) 669-0078 or via email at  Visit to find a facility near you.