How bad is an office job for recovery?

Like majority of the people on the forum, I am juggling training with an office job. I’m on the short power build high volume, and as well as the riding, I incorporate two S&C sessions - one on a Monday which is my recovery day, and one on Friday. This means Friday becomes a double training day, and I tend to ride early morning before work and do my S&C session (with the main leg conditioning being deadlifts) in the evening.

After the morning session on a Friday I have a recovery protein and carb shake as well as my usual breakfast of oats, banana, jam and peanut butter.

My question is, how bad for the recovery of legs is sitting at a desk all day? I would have thought being off my feet would be a good thing as the legs are resting but I have read it’s bad for flexibility and recovery? Is there anything that can be done to aid recovery whilst sitting down?

Thanks in advance!

Source for stating sitting is bad recovery?

I’ve only heard coaches say recovery days mean sitting on the couch (ie no S&C).

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I have a similar training schedule an office job and a three week old baby so sleep has also been a factor for me lately.

I keep a close eye on my recovery with the HRV4Training app and while my first few days after birth recommended rest, which I did, I don’t see much other impact from general movement/activity, or lack thereof.

Interested to see what other folks have to say here but I make sure that I get up and move around for a few minutes every hour and also have a simple standing desk setup. Not sure if it actually helps with muscle tension/recovery but moving and standing definitely have a mental impact. I feel fresher after standing and moving around a bit.

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Ditto, this sounds crazy to me. Sitting is only ‘bad’ for recovery if you consider laying down as better (which it is). But I find the ‘bad’ connotation as poor word choice unless there is something really conclusive driving the claim.

Apart from the general recommendations to not stay seated for super long periods, I can’t imagine how sitting is ‘bad’ for recovery. We will have the likely need to get up for bathroom breaks, drinks and food through the day at the very least.

For my desk job, I mix in use of 2 foot rests to alter position through the day. I know get better rest and recovery on the days I am pinned to my desk vs the ones where I spend more time on the production floor standing or walking a bunch.

a desk job is probably not as bad for recovery as hanging drywall or digging ditches. It’s probably worse for recovery than mattress testing.


I know that I appreciate my desk after difficult workouts. Beats trying to work cattle after a long training run. Though I love the latter infinitely more.

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Depends how stressful your office job is. Even if you are mainly sitting all day, but working long stressful hours, an office job can be bad for recovery.


This is what I was referring to, perhaps I should have been more clear. I was also unsure about the affects on flexibility and thus blood flow.

To me recovery is an acute process. It’s usually specific to a single or at least recent effort. From an acute standpoint, a desk job is probably good. Long-term or more chronicly, it’s probably bad for multiple reasons that I’m sure folks could go into detail on, such as posture, inactivity, neck, back, wrist pain, etc.


I can, and try to as much as possible. We have one of those stools in the office - I havent thought to use it though - great idea.


I work in a call center and sit most of the day. I got a wireless headset so I can walk around and stretch the legs time to time, but I find that its great recovery. YMMV


I’m retired so pretty much get to decide my recovery methods. Long post short, I’ve discovered that moving around is better for me than being a couch potato. I’m less stiff and just feel better all around. (not talking about doing more exercise, just doing light chores, etc.)

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I’d be more concerned that you don’t have any complete recovery days, your recovery on Monday isn’t happening as you’re stressing your muscles and CNS with a strength workout. This partnered to a HV plan would be a bigger red flag than a desk job.


This is interesting. The reason I have set my S&C sessions as I have is I was unsure whether or not to include a full day off. This stems from my friend (who is a full time triathlete looking to get her pro licence this season) - her program written by a top coach doesn’t allow for any days off - just here and there when she is really suffering from training load. I figure it’s different as she is training for three disciplines and may miss a disciplin on a day or two a week, but the TSS is still building.

Maybe I should allow Monday to be a complete rest day - but when would you suggest I implement Mondays S&C session? Perhaps on the same day as an easier recovery ride?


FWIW I’m not a coach, but I’m basing my feedback from my own training experience, far too much time spent reading and the feedback from @chad has provided on the podcast.

Essentially training is the stimulus for physiological adaption, if we don’t give our bodies enough time to recover (adapt) then our progress will stall. With no recovery, a high volume plan and a demanding S&C routine you could be heading towards overtraining. A full time athlete is able to structure their recovery in a different way and I would bet her coach is keeping a very close eye on her performance and feedback to see when to hold back. From what I recall Chad’s advice was to indeed do double days, bike workout and S&C on the same day. I’d do the bike first as that is the priority in terms of quality required to get faster.


Thanks for your response. What you’re saying makes sense, and after a heavy weekend of training I think it would be foolish to train again today.

I think I will push my S&C to Wednesday’s and Saturdays, and as you mention I will do these second to my bike sessions.

Thanks again for your thoughts

Good luck with it, let us know how you get on!

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I tend to follow the Mid Volume schedule personally, unless I have obligations during the week and I will shift things around. I like having Mondays and Fridays off the bike since most of my harder rides tend to be on weekends, it gives me Monday to recover, then I ramp up during the week and get a rest day Friday before hammering into the weekend

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