How to Incorporate Physical Therapy Exercises at Work

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Life gets busy, and fitting in physical therapy exercises can feel like a big task. But don’t worry! With just a few simple changes, we’ll help you make these exercises a doable part of your daily routine. 

In this blog, we’re here to guide you through easy strategies that smoothly blend physical therapy exercises into your workday. Our goal is to empower you to stay active and focus on your well-being, even with a hectic schedule.

Deskercise Basics

Sitting at a desk for long hours can lead to stiffness and discomfort. Combat this by incorporating desk exercises throughout your day. Try seated leg lifts, ankle circles, and seated torso twists to engage different muscle groups and improve flexibility. Follow this exercise guide:

1. Seated Leg Lifts

  • Sit up straight with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Hands on armrests or sides for stability.
  • Lift one leg straight in front, parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for a few seconds, engage thigh muscles.
  • Lower leg, repeat on the other side.
  • Aim for 10-15 reps per leg.

2. Ankle Circles

  • Sit comfortably, feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift one foot slightly, rotate the ankle in circles.
  • Perform 10-15 circles each direction.
  • Lower foot, repeat with the other foot.

3. Seated Torso Twists

  • Sit with your back straight and feet flat.
  • Place hands on hips or chair armrests.
  • Inhale, twist the torso to one side.
  • Hold, feeling the stretch in the spine.
  • Inhale back to center, exhale and twist to the other side.
  • Repeat for 10-15 twists on each side.

Seated Core Strengthening

While sitting at your desk, engage your core muscles to maintain proper posture. Perform seated marches, seated leg extensions, and pelvic tilts to activate and strengthen your core. This will not only improve your stability but also reduce the risk of back pain. Follow this simple guide:

1. Seated Marches:

  • Sit up straight with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift one knee toward your chest, engaging your core.
  • Lower the foot back to the ground and repeat with the other leg.
  • Perform 10-15 marches on each leg, gradually increasing as you feel more comfortable.

2. Seated Leg Extensions:

  • Sit tall in your chair with both feet on the floor.
  • Straighten one leg out in front of you, holding for a few seconds.
  • Engage your core as you lower the leg back down.
  • Repeat with the other leg. Aim for 10-15 repetitions on each leg.

3. Pelvic Tilts:

  • Sit with your back straight and feet flat on the floor.
  • Inhale as you arch your lower back slightly, tilting your pelvis forward.
  • Exhale as you round your lower back, tilting your pelvis backward.
  • Repeat this movement for 10-15 repetitions, focusing on engaging your core muscles.

Take Advantage of Breaks

Instead of spending your breaks at your desk, use this time to move and stretch. Take a short walk, perform standing calf raises, or do some shoulder stretches. These activities not only help with physical therapy but also enhance mental well-being and productivity. Here are the things you can do during your short break.

1. Take a Short Walk

Step 1:

  • Stand up from your desk and step away.
  • Walk briskly for 5-10 minutes, focusing on maintaining good posture.
  • Swing your arms naturally as you walk to engage your upper body.
  • Utilize this time to clear your mind and enjoy a change of scenery.

2. Standing Calf Raises:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, near a sturdy surface for support if needed.
  • Rise onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground.
  • Engage your calf muscles and hold for a moment.
  • Lower your heels back down, completing 10-15 repetitions.
  • Perform these calf raises intermittently during your break to improve circulation.

3. Shoulder Stretches:

  • Stand or sit comfortably with a straight spine.
  • Reach your right arm across your chest.
  • Use your left hand to gently pull your right arm closer to your chest.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, feeling the tension release in your shoulder.
  • Repeat on the other side, performing this stretch to alleviate shoulder tension.

Bonus Tips

  • Set a reminder to take breaks regularly throughout your workday.
  • Use breaks as an opportunity to re-energize both your body and mind.
  • Incorporate these movements and stretches consistently to enhance physical and mental well-being.


Set aside a few minutes each hour for mini-workouts. Simple exercises like squats, lunges, or wall push-ups can be done in a small space and provide a quick energy boost. These activities increase blood flow, combat sedentary behavior, and contribute to improved overall health. Follow this easy guide:

1. Bodyweight Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower your hips back and down as if sitting into an imaginary chair.
  • Keep your back straight, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle.
  • Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.

2. Lunges

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Take a step forward with one foot, bending both knees to a 90-degree angle.
  • Ensure your front knee is directly above your ankle.
  • Push off the front foot and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other leg. Aim for 10-15 lunges on each leg.

3. Wall Push-Ups:

  • Stand facing a wall, arms extended at shoulder height, palms against the wall.
  • Lean towards the wall, keeping your body straight.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering your chest towards the wall.
  • Push back to the starting position.
  • Perform 10-15 wall push-ups to engage your upper body.

Stretching Routine

Incorporate a stretching routine into your workday to prevent muscle tightness. Focus on areas prone to tension, such as the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Desk stretches, like the overhead reach or the seated forward fold, can be done discreetly and effectively. Follow these easy and simple steps:

1. Overhead Reach

  • Sit or stand comfortably with a straight spine.
  • Interlace your fingers and extend your arms overhead, palms facing upward.
  • Inhale deeply, lengthening your spine.
  • Exhale as you gently lean to one side, feeling the stretch along your torso.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Inhale back to the center and repeat on the other side.

2. Seated Forward Fold

  • Sit on the edge of your chair with feet flat on the floor.
  • Inhale, lengthen your spine, and engage your core.
  • Exhale as you hinge at your hips, reaching forward toward your toes.
  • Allow your head and neck to relax.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, feeling a gentle stretch in your lower back and hamstrings.
  • Inhale as you return to an upright position.

3. Neck and Shoulder Stretch

  • Sit or stand with a straight spine.
  • Drop your right ear towards your right shoulder, feeling a stretch along the left side of your neck.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Gently bring your head back to the center.
  • Repeat on the other side, dropping your left ear towards your left shoulder.
  • Inhale deeply to release tension, exhale as you switch sides.

Bonus Tips

  • Perform these stretches gently and avoid any movements that cause pain.
  • Breathe deeply and consistently throughout each stretch.
  • Incorporate these stretches into short breaks during your workday.
  • Adjust the duration of stretches based on your comfort and flexibility.

Here are some additional fantastic activities you can integrate into your workplace routine to stay on top of your exercises and enhance both your health and productivity:

Mindful Breathing

Don’t underestimate the power of mindful breathing. Take a moment to practice deep breathing exercises, which can reduce stress, increase oxygen flow, and improve overall well-being. Incorporate deep breaths into your routine or use brief moments of mindfulness during the day.

Use Stability Balls

Consider replacing your desk chair with a stability ball. Sitting on a stability ball engages your core muscles, promoting better posture and balance. You can perform gentle bouncing or rocking motions to add some variety to your routine and enhance core strength.

Utilize Office Furniture

Use office furniture creatively for exercise. Utilize your desk for tricep dips or use the edge for calf stretches. Your office chair can double as a support for seated leg raises or hamstring stretches. Get creative with your surroundings to make the most of your workspace.

At Myokinetix we believe that incorporating physical therapy exercises into your work routine should be convenient and enjoyable. By making small adjustments and being consistent with these exercises, you can enhance your overall health, reduce the risk of injury, and boost your performance both at work and in everyday life. Remember, a little movement goes a long way towards achieving a healthier, more active lifestyle. 

If you have specific concerns or need personalized exercises, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced physical therapy team. We can help you nail down a routine of exercises that work to improve your specific pain or injury!

Book a call with our team Now! Stay active and healthy!

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