I'm starting an exercise regiment to help combat the negative effects of my lifestyle - specifically, hours upon hours of necessary sitting at a computer desk reading and typing away at text for hours on end.

No, I'm not a novelist. I'm a computer scientist.

For 8 hours of the day, I work at a computer, in a computer chair, with my back and hips bent in a classic "Tetris Z" shape, which I know for a fact isn't good for my spine. I can get a little walking around the office in during short breaks, but that will only do so much, and I am not interested in replacing my computer chair with a standing-chair or an exercise ball.

I'm starting an exercise regiment one way or another - I want to physically improve myself - and it would be nice to make my regiment fit my lifestyle, and help counteract the negative things I'm doing to my body.

What type of exercise regiment can help keep my back and hips strong, when I lead a life that, by necessity, has me sitting in a chair for hours on end?

Ideally, since I live in an apartment with little storage space, this regiment should be equipment-minimal. And because I live in an area that has a harsh winter, it should be mostly indoors so that I can continue it year-round.

  • 2
    There's a saying in the software development world: fast, good, or cheap. Pick two as you can't have all three. With all the restrictions (no time, space, equipment, or lifestyle change) you have, I'm not sure how much effective the recommendations will be. One thing is for certain: your sedentary lifestyle must change for your goals to be achieved. The first question I'll generally ask is what can you do daily to become more active? Commented May 27, 2015 at 20:38
  • This q/a on posture will give you some good exercises to help counterbalance sitting all day. Bodyweight exercises, Resistance bands or suspension straps, and kettlebells are all good for small indoor spaces. Commented May 27, 2015 at 21:14
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    Unfortunately, this kind of question isn't really a good fit. You will end up with a lot of recommendations for people's personal favorite exercise, which you may or may not enjoy. Get up, get active, find activities that you enjoy doing. The more you have fun doing it, the more likely you will keep on doing it.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


The good news is that, while sitting will kill you, the research seems to show that as little as a two minute walk each hour largely reverses the effect. Either set yourself an alarm or get up and get coffee or water on the hour. Add the recommended 20 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week and you should be fine.


Seems like everyone has giving you some good advice. However, I agree with JohnP the most because your health should be the most important aspect of your life. Find something you like, get up and take breaks frequently to drink some water throughout the day is cheap and possibly would give you the most health benefits while you are at work.

Since you are sitting mostly at work, you will need to do some exercises to strengthen your core, back, posture and yes even your hip extensors (buttocks). Keep in mind that getting out of your chair and doing these exercises a few times per day is best. Here are some exercises/workouts you can try while you are at work.

  1. Deskercising
  2. DeskYoga

And you can also try these moves/workouts while you are at home a few times per week.

  1. Abs and Core Workouts
  2. Total Body Workouts

Give them a try and let us know how you feel.

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