5 Effective Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk
Working at a desk – whether you work from home or not – can be taxing on the body. Experts say that even if you workout, it’s still important to get up and move around throughout the day.
Back pain is one of the most common causes of missed work every year, and it’s incredibly important to keep yourself out of pain and feeling limber, alert, and stretched out throughout the day. In this post, we’ll explore some effective stretches that you can do without leaving your desk.
1) Shoulder Stretch via MayoClinic.org
Standing or sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on your muscles. To prevent or reduce stiffness and pain, try simple office stretches throughout the day. Perform these stretches several times throughout the day to help keep your muscles from feeling sore and tight.
Start by stretching the back of your shoulder:
Place one hand under your elbow.
Lift your elbow and stretch it across your chest. Don’t rotate your body as you stretch.
Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. You’ll feel tension in the back of your shoulder.
Relax and slowly return to the starting position.
Repeat the stretch with the other arm.
2) Hip Flexor Stretch via LifeHack.org
Sitting truly shortens and tightens your little hip flexor muscle. It’s the one at the front in the crease of your hip. It runs through your pelvis to your back, so when it is tight it often presents with an achy back. To lengthen this one out while at your desk, sit at the edge of your chair but shift to face to your left. Take your right leg and extend it behind you with as straight a knee as you can. Sit tall and lift your sternum while trying to tuck your tailbone under. This increases the stretch. Repeat on the other side. Repeat both sides 2-3 times.
3) The Freedom Search via Healthline.com
Clasp hands behind your back, push the chest outward, and raise the chin. Hold for a longer period of time if you feel tension in your lower or upper back.
4) Upper Cervical Spine Flex via Men’s Health
From the chest elevation position while seated, dip your head forward slightly as if you were nodding “yes.” Feel the stretch in the neck at the base of the head. Pause for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat 5 to 10 times.
5) Seated Hip Stretch via Exercise.about.com
This move helps open up the hips and stretch the complex series of muscles in the hips and glutes.
Do it right: While seated, cross the right ankle over the left knee and sit up nice and tall. Gently lean forward, keeping the back straight and reaching out with the torso until you feel a stretch in the right glute and hip. You can also press down on the right knee to deepen the stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.