Pain Free Working

Indoor Obstacle Course Ideas for Exercising in the Office

Doing exercises alone, whether in the office or at home, can make some individuals feel intimidated. While others can easily brush it off, some people find it difficult to do so when they think that everyone’s eyes may be on them. They may become apprehensive to do workouts, even if they want to. This mindset can change by introducing the concept of team exercises in the office.

Exercising in the office together with employees has benefits and can create a lot of opportunities between co-workers. Companies can also use this as an opportunity to foster a healthy working environment. That said, here’s a team exercise idea we have for you: an indoor obstacle course. This one makes use of your entire office and items that can be found just within the workplace. Check it out!

Benefits of Team Exercises

Aside from invigorating energy into each and every worker in the office, exercises have a couple more benefits when done together. Doing fun events as a team also offers co-workers the chance to let loose and have fun in the midst of their tasks. It also gives the company the opportunity to create a fun corporate culture. Here are some more benefits to having team exercise events in the office.

Build Team Spirit

Sometimes, employees may find it difficult to see themselves as a part of a unit, especially if individuals rarely act with each other despite being in the same team. By doing a team exercise, it can build teamwork and team spirit, fostering a sense of camaraderie. 

At the end of the team exercise, each employee can get to know more about their co-workers such as their strengths, creativity, drive. This also allows individuals to foster new friendships within the team.

Increase Productivity

The more team members work together, the more they get used to each other’s strengths and shortcomings, the more they get things done. Team building helps employees get to know each other and see how they can work through decisions and frustrations as a group. 

Doing team exercises together allows employees to get a much-needed break from their daily work. Exercises can get their heart-rate up, their body energized, and overall feeling refreshed, ready to tackle their tasks.

Encourage Fitness and a Healthy Lifestyle

At work, the thing that most people do all day is sit at their workstation and go through their tasks. The majority, if not all, of these employees end up sitting too much at their desks and risk acquiring health issues related to prolonged sitting. By initiating a team exercise in the office, this encourages employees to incorporate more movement in their day, therefore lowering the possibility of developing any kind of sitting disease. 

Exercising together also eliminates the apprehension in doing workouts alone in the office. Additionally, it inspires individuals to be more physically active and live a healthier lifestyle.

Indoor Obstacle Course Exercise in the Office

You’re probably familiar with obstacle course games outside of the office setting. Outdoor obstacle races consist of a lot of structures and items such as nets, swinging ropes, hurdles, and the like. It’s quite impossible to recreate your favorite outdoor obstacle course inside the office. However, one thing that is possible is to create your own course that makes use of your work space and office equipment. Check out our suggestions for a great obstacle course exercise in the office!

Sprint Up the Stairs

Surely, your office building has stairs. Using the staircase can get the blood pumping in the legs and makes for a great short workout. You can start off the obstacle course by having the employees sprint up a set of stairs that lead to the office. Once they reach the landing platform, ask your workers to do a couple of calf raises before moving on to the next section.

Jumping Jacks

Before any of them can enter the office, have them do 3 to 5 jumping jacks in the entrance way. Not only are jumping jacks short yet highly enjoyable cardio workouts, they can also be funny depending on whether the doors of your office open automatically or not. After their jumping jacks, they can move to the next part of the course.

Wrist Exercises

Give your employees a breather in this station by making them do a couple of wrist exercises. These can help in reducing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome or other injuries. One exercise they can do is a wrist extension. 

To do this, one must hold their arm straight out in front of the body, shoulder height. Bend the wrist back gently, as if making a stop sign, and use the other hand to gently pull the palm back to feel a stretch in the inner forearm. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat five times. After, repeat the whole exercise on the other arm.

Desk Push-Ups

Bring back the action by setting the next station up with desk push-ups. Instruct them to place their hands on the edge of the desk, hip-width apart and their feet as far away as possible from the body until they’re almost in a push-up like position. With their knees locked, let them lower their body using their arms until the chest nearly touches the table. Push back up and repeat from the start, doing about 5 reps. 


It’s certain that any office has a surplus of boxes, file cases, and the like. Lay them out on the floor in alternating positions. The employee must make it across the other side without bumping into any of the objects used as obstacles.

Water Bottle Weights

A lot of offices don’t have ready-to-use dumbbells, but we’re sure that they do have water bottles stacked in the pantry. Another exercise station idea for your obstacle course is water bottle weights. You can have employees hold a water bottle in each hand and stand with their feet shoulder-width apart. 

Let the arms hang by their sides, with palms facing into the side of the body. Curl each water bottle towards the shoulders, keeping the elbows close to the sides. Slowly lower the water bottles to the starting position, and repeat. This can be done for around 5 to 10 times.

Hip Circles

You may not have hula hoops in the office, but you can still do hip rotations as part of this obstacle course. Have the individuals stand with their back straight, feet firmly planted on the floor, spaced a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees slightly and place hands on the hips. Slowly rotate the hips clockwise, making big circles. Do 5 clockwise circles, and then switch to do another 5 in the counterclockwise direction.

Seated Ab Crunches

Make use of the office chair by having everyone do seated ab crunches. This exercise station can be a short full body workout as it engages not only the core but also the lower body. For this, you can have the workers sit at the edge of the seat with their legs straight out. Keep the abs tight, slowly bend the legs, pulling the knees towards their body. Hold the pose for a couple of seconds, before going back to the starting position. They can do 5 to 10 reps of each.

Overhead Stretch

The final station in the course can be a full-body stretch accompanied by a deep inhale and a powerful exhale. This allows the individual to fully feel every muscle and bone in their body, decreasing muscle tension. A good stretch can also make anyone feel relaxed, especially after a nice deep breath. 

To do this, simply step the feet about a shoulder-width apart and interlace the fingers with palms facing down. Take a deep breath while bringing the arms up overhead, palms facing the ceiling as one gently stretches their body. Unweave the fingers and bring the arms down while exhaling.

These are just some ideas on how to make a fitness obstacle course in the office. You can, of course, switch their order or add in some other exercises if you’d like. Doing these exercises together with everyone in the office can be a fun and enjoyable activity and can certainly energize the workplace. Schedule this event and try it out!

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.