6 stretches you can do at your desk

If you spend most of your hours sitting in front of a computer, you are definitely not alone. Today, most people have long sitting jobs that wreak havoc on their bodies.

That is especially true if you don’t have workplace efficiency and stay in the same position for hours. Lack of movement, along with an uncomfortable chair and poor posture, can potentially cause severe back pain, tightness in your neck and shoulders, obesity, stress, musculoskeletal disorders and many other issues.

The good news is that performing a few stretches at your desk can help reduce all these problems. Studies suggest that regular stretching can help reduce shoulder, back and neck pain and also increase your overall productivity.

Taking regular breaks to stand and stretch also helps your eyes rest and allows your body to feel more energetic and comfortable. There are certain stretches you can easily do at your desk that’ll not take more than a few minutes.


Effective stretches you can do at your workplace

The following stretching exercises largely focus on your back, shoulders, neck, glutes and hips. You can do them as often as you can to relieve your body from stiffness and stress.

1) Shoulder shrug

Your neck and shoulders hold a lot of tightness from scrunching and typing. If you hunch more often, performing a shoulder shrug stretch can be very beneficial for you.

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How to perform?

  • Stand or sit, and lift your shoulders upward towards your ears.
  • Squeeze your shoulders as hard as you can.
  • Hold for five seconds, and roll them back.
  • Relax and repeat for ten reps.

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2) Neck stretch

Stiffness in the neck can cause upper back tension as well as severe headaches. If you have the tendency to drop your head forward while working on your computer, you are putting extra tension on your neck muscles. To avoid that, you should do neck stretches from time to time. .

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How to perform?

  • While sitting in your chair, hold the side of the chair with your left hand.
  • Pull it gently while tilting your neck towards the right side.
  • You’ll feel a stretch down to the left side of your shoulder and neck.
  • Hold for 20 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

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3) Seated hip stretch

This very simple stretch helps open up your hips and relaxes some of the complex muscles in your glutes and hips. A seated hip stretch would surely feel amazing after a long hour of sitting.

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How to perform?

  • Sit straight and tall.
  • Cross your left ankle to your right knee.
  • Slowly try to lean forward while keeping your back straight and feeling a stretch in your left hip and glute muscles.
  • You can also slowly press down on your left knee if you want to deepen the stretch.
  • Hold for a few seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.

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4) Upper back stretch

The upper back stretch will help relax all the muscles between your shoulder blades and traps.

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How to perform?

  • Sit or stand, stretch your arms straight out, and rotate your hands in a way that your palms get away from each other.
  • Cross your arms, and press your palms together.
  • Now tighten your abs, and curve your back while reaching away as you relax your head.
  • Don’t bend too much. Instead, just curve up, and hold the stretch for 20 seconds.
  • If twisting your arms feels uncomfortable, just lace your fingers together.

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5) Spinal twist

Sitting for long hours can severely affect your lower back and lead to tightness and aching. Spinal twist stretches can help ease out some of that tension. Just remember not to twist too much – you simply need to rotate slightly to feel this stretch.

How to perform?

  • Sit straight with both your feet flat on the floor.
  • Engage your abs, and slowly rotate your torso towards the left.
  • Hold the armrest of the chair to deepen the stretch.
  • Twist your torso as far as you comfortably can, and make sure to keep your back straight.
  • Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.

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6) Forearm stretch

Your forearms can get very stiff from typing. Performing forearm stretches regularly can help stretch out your wrist and forearm muscles.

How to perform?

  • Hold both your hands together in front of you.
  • Lower your head, and make sure to keep it in line with your arms.
  • Slowly press forward, and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Relax, and repeat for eight to ten times.

take away

All the stretches mentioned above are very effective for people with office jobs. The key is to keep the body moving in a new posture throughout the day to avoid stiffness and body aches. It’s important to remember that physical activity even for short durations can help improve posture, flexibility, mood and overall productivity.


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