06 Feb 2020

10 Office Stretches to Do at Your Desk

Health and Wellbeing Advice

If you haven’t yet heard how damaging sitting at a desk all day can be to your health, prepare for a fright.

Hunched backs, stiff hips, weak abs, and a sluggish metabolism are just some of the ways your health can be adversely impacted by prolonged sitting and laborious desk work.

Fret not though; this beaut and bendy list of 10 stretches to do at your desk will give your tired muscles just the TLC they need – all from the comfort of your very own workstation.

1. Neck Flexion

fitness advice

Stretches for office workers are best started from the top down. Facing forward, roll your shoulders back and down and grasp the left side of your head with your right hand, gently pulling it down towards your right shoulder. Repeat on the left side. Facing forward again, interlock your hands at the back of your head and slowly pull down in a nodding motion. Hold each position for 20 seconds.

2. Side Bend

Not all office stretches need to be “desk” stretches. Standing up with arms by your sides, slide your right hand down the right leg as far as you can, being sure to keep shoulders square at all times. Repeat on the left side and hold both for a good 20 seconds.

3. Shoulder Stretch

fitness advice

This is one of the most important of all office stretches. Interlock your fingers in front of you and face palms out, reach out as far as you can, trying to separate your shoulders blades as you do. Interlock your fingers behind you now with palms facing up. Pull shoulders back and arms away from the body. Hold both for 20 seconds.

4. Wrist Mobility

Spending all day banging away at the keyboard can leave wrists and fingers stiff and sore, so one of the best stretches for office workers is also one of the simplest. Standing in front of your desk, place your palms face down on the desk with fingers facing towards your body, straightening your elbows and pushing them outwards. Now flip your hands over so the back of your hand is facing down and do the same. Hold each for 20 seconds.

5. Tricep Release

fitness advice

Facing forward, reach your right hand up above your head and bend at the elbow, placing your hand between your shoulder blades. Grasp your right elbow with your left hand and gently pull to the left so your hand moves further down your back. Repeat on the opposite side, holding both stretches for at least 20 seconds.

6. Spinal Rotation

One of the most basic yet effective stretches to do at your desk is spinal rotation. Sit up tall and cross your left leg over your right. Grasp your outer left thigh with your right hand, placing your left hand on the seat behind you. Gently twist your body to the left and look behind you. Repeat on the other side, holding both stretches for 20 seconds.

7. Glute Stretch

fitness advice

Sitting on your butt all day makes even the powerhouse muscles, like the glutes, contracted and tight. Therefore, no desk stretches routine is complete without showing your booty a little love. While seated, place your left ankle on your right knee, gently pushing your left knee down and leaning forward until you feel a stretch in the glute. Repeat on the opposite side and hold each for 20 seconds.

8. Knee to Chest

In a seated position or standing against a wall (either way, make sure your back is supported), grasp one knee and gently pull it towards your chest. Repeat on the opposite side and hold both for 20 seconds.

9. The Lunge

fitness advice

Stand up and place your feet shoulder width apart, stepping forward with your right leg. Bend the right knee while straightening the left leg, trying to keep your heels flat on the floor. You should feel this deep office stretch in the back of your calf. Repeat on the other side, holding both for 20 seconds.

10. Hamstring and Back Release

Finally, while you’re still standing, find some space and stand with feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend at the waist, letting your arms hang in front of you. Curve your spine down one vertebra at a time until you are touching your toes (or as close as you can get). Hold for 20 seconds and then slowly stand back up.

Office stretches needn’t require a private room or yoga mat set-up – all you need is a chair, a desk, and a weary body for these stretches for office workers to be effective and for those tired muscles to get some sweet relief.

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