​Desk Stretches at Work: 20 Exercises for Everyone

07.01.2022 ∙ Roman Danaev ∙ 10 min read

We spend a lot of time in the office and desk work can be tedious. You might find yourself with low energy, back pain, and even neck strain. We’ve all been there.

The good news is that desk stretches can help relieve these symptoms and make your day more productive. These desk exercises will also provide you with an opportunity to take a break from your desk for a few minutes every hour.

This blog post provides 20 desk stretches that are quick and easy to do at work.stretching

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20 Desk stretches everyone should do during working-hours

Desk stretches are a great way to improve your posture and relieve tension throughout the day. When you’re feeling tense or cramped up, make sure to take a few minutes to do some of these easy stretches. You’ll feel better and be able to work more effectively.

1. The Chest Stretch

The chest stretch opens up your chest and helps to improve your posture. To perform this desk exercise, make sure your back is straight while seated in a chair with good lumbar support.

Slowly arch your back while you inhale. Raise your arms, keeping them parallel to the ground, and stretch them backwards for a few seconds before releasing and dropping your chin to your chest as you exhale. Repeat this sequence a few times.

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2. The leg stretch

Take your position in front of the desk and your left hand for support. Pull up your right ankle towards your right buttock using the right hand. Stay like this for 10 seconds and release your ankle.

Place your hand on the table and bring the left ankle towards the left buttock. After 10 seconds, place your ankle on the ground. Repeat this set 5 times.

3. The sitting stretch

The sitting stretch is a hip flexor. While sitting, stretch one leg and rest your heel on the floor. Slowly lean forward while keeping your back straight until you feel a stretch in your hips. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this easy stretch a few times and switch sides.

4. Straight posture

Maintaining good posture is key when it comes to desk stretches. Bad posture can lead to back and neck pain, so it’s important to practice this throughout the day. Make sure your shoulders are down and back, your stomach is pulled in, and your chin is parallel to the ground to maintain good posture.

5. Wall press

The wall press is a great way to improve mobility and relieve tension in your back. To perform this exercise, stand facing a wall while keeping your standing position far enough that your toes do not touch it.

With palms flat against the wall, lean forward until you feel a stretch behind your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds before slowly releasing. Repeat six times.

6. Seated spinal rotation

The seated spinal rotation strengthens your spine. While sitting, interlock your hands behind your neck and twist your upper body to the right. Hold for 30 seconds, face forward, lower your hands, and then repeat on the other side.

7. Posterior shoulder stretch

The posterior shoulder stretch targets the muscles in your shoulder, neck and arms. Raise your right arm and position it towards your left side and parallel to the ground. Then, use your left hand to pull your right arm towards your chest gently. Hold for 30 seconds before switching arms and repeating on the opposite shoulder.

8. Shoulder shrugs

The shoulder shrug is done to relieve your neck and shoulder tension. To do this stretch, sit in your chair with feet flat on the ground and back straight. Raise your shoulders towards your ears, then hold for 10 seconds before releasing. Repeat this six times.

9. Sitting back extensions

Sitting back extensions can improve spinal mobility. Interlock your hands behind your neck. Your lower back may become slightly rounded. Slowly lean back, extending your spine. Hold for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.

Only a slight stretch and no pain should be felt during the exercise. Repeat this stretching exercise ten times or as per your body’s endurance level.

10. Back twist

The back twist is an upper-body stretch to improve spinal mobility. Place your right hand on your left knee and twist your upper body to the right, looking over your shoulder. Hold the position for 30 seconds before returning to the first step, taking a deep breath, and repeating on the other side.

11. Walking breaks

It’s also important to take regular walking breaks throughout the day. When you’re tense or cramped up, get up and take a quick five-minute walk around your office. Not only will this help improve your circulation, but it will also help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.

12. Neck rotations

Neck rotation is a great way to strengthen your neck. Gently rotate your head to the right, then hold for 10 seconds before rotating to the left and holding for 10 seconds. Repeat this stretch six times. Avoid stretching out your neck muscle group too much.

13. Upper shoulder and neck stretch

The upper shoulder and neck stretch relieves the tension in your neck and shoulders. Sit in your chair with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. Place your right hand on the left side of your head. Gently apply pressure to tilt your head towards your right shoulder. Stay like this for 30 seconds before switching arms and repeating on the other side.

14. Shoulder extension

The shoulder extension relieves tension in your upper body. To do this stretch, sit in your chair and raise your arms behind your back. Ensure that a slight stretch is felt with no pain. Hold for 10 seconds before lowering slowly back down. Repeat this stretch six times.

15. Eagle arms

The eagle arms stretch is a great way to improve spinal mobility and relieve tension in your neck and shoulders. Bring both arms in front of you and make 90-degree angles such that the forearm is perpendicular to the ground. Now place your right arm over your left arm, try coiling the forearms, and clasp your hands together. Maintain this position for 30 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.

16. Upper back stretch

The upper back stretch also distresses your neck and shoulders. Raise your hands above yourself and clasp your hands, then slowly lean on the right side, extending your spine. Hold for 30 seconds before returning to the beginning step and leaning towards your left side. Repeat the set 5 times.

17. Shoulder rolls

The office shoulder roll targets the upper trapezius muscle, which helps improve posture and reduce tension within that area. To perform this office exercise, stand with one hand on your hip and the other arm hanging down, making sure not to hunch your shoulder. Gently roll your shoulder up, back and down for a total of five reps before switching sides. Alternatively, you can touch the shoulders and then roll them.

18. Neck rolls

The neck roll opens the knots in your neck muscles. To do this office stretch, sit up straight against the chair with your feet flat on the ground. Slowly roll your head down, then back, making an “O” shape with your neck. Hold for 10 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat this neck roll six times in clockwise and anticlockwise directions.

19. Wrist and finger stretch

The wrist and finger stretch greatly improves circulation and relieves tension in your hands and wrists. Extend your right arm out before you, hold your fingers with the other hand, and bend your wrist backwards. Hold for 10 seconds before repeating on the other side.

20. Bent-knee stretch

The bent knee to chest stretch is a great way to improve spinal mobility and relieve tension in your back. Slowly bring your right knee up to your chest and hold for 30 seconds before releasing and repeating on the other side. Ensure that your other leg remains seated on the chair.

The benefits of desk exercises at your workplace

Physical activity is vital for firing up your cognitive power. Employees who regularly participate in-office exercises report feeling more energised and less stressed at work. Office exercises are a great way to break up the monotony of the workday and can be done in just a few minutes.

Office workers are often hunched over their keyboards for 8 hours a day which strains the shoulders, back, and neck muscles, leading to headaches, fatigue, or even carpal tunnel syndrome. Desk exercise will help prevent joint pain, muscle soreness, and stiffness, along with improving breathing, memory, concentration, and coordination.

Summary

The benefits of stretching go beyond just feeling better. Participation in these short exercise breaks can also improve your productivity and creativity, which is good for you and the company that employs you. For optimal productivity, a cover is also essential.

Private health insurance for small business owners is vital protection for any business and its employees. Many private health insurers offer cover for preventive treatments, such as health screenings and health checks. This can be a great way to help maintain the health and wellbeing of your employees.

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