7 Simple Stretches You Can Do At Your Desk

Fitness, Healthy Living, Lifestyle, Workouts, Yoga + Stretching Workouts

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // December 5, 2016

You probably already know that sitting too much is bad for you. Sedentary behavior increases your risk for countless diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately for many of us, our jobs demand that we sit at a desk all day. And you end up sitting on your butt, hunched over, staring at a screen.

But fear not, there are plenty of stretches you can do at your desk to keep your body and mind refreshed.

These are just simple, gentle stretches that will help relieve muscle tension, prevent back pain, and re-energize you during your day. Studies show that stretching breaks at work can help reduce job stress, cut back on common workplace injuries like strains and sprains, and boost productivity.

So give these seven desk stretches a try and see you how you feel afterward. Oh, and PS: after you’re done, try and stand or walk around for a bit! Or better yet, get a walking pad and walking during your workday.

1. Cat

Cat pose is a common yoga pose typically done on the ground, but we’ve modified it here so you can get the same benefits from a seated version. After sitting for a few hours, your back will need a nice stretch, and this pose does just that, while keeping your spine mobile.

Tuck your tailbone and lower the crown of your head so your back gently rounds.

Breathe gently as you hold this back stretch and then move into cow pose.

2. Cow

Try cow pose to open up your chest and stretch out your back.

Often performed in conjunction with cat, cow pose is another great yoga pose. Typically performed on the ground as well, you can still do this easy pose seated at your desk.

When you’ve been sitting all day, you might naturally hunch forward over your computer, but this pose helps open up your chest. Lift your heart and tailbone so your back gently curves backward. Look slightly upward with a relaxed neck. It’s going to feel amazing!

3. Figure Four

Figure four is a great hip opener and also helps open up your low back.

The seated figure four stretch is a great hip opener, and it will also help relieve that dull, low-back ache that can come from sitting too much.

Keep your spine straight as you place one ankle on the opposite leg. Lean forward toward your calf, while keeping a straight back. Switch legs.

Related: 10 Yoga Poses You Should Do Every Day

4. Seated Twist

Keep back pain at bay with a seated twist.

This variation on a seated twist is a gentle spinal twist that can also help with low back pain.

Sit upright, taking a big breath in as you lengthen your spine.

As you exhale, twist towards one side, pulling up through the top of your head on each inhale and twisting a bit further with each exhale.

Breathe for a few moments here, before switching sides.

5. Eagle

Eagle pose will stretch out your shoulders and back.

This variation on eagle pose helps to stretch out your arms, shoulders, and back—all of which need some love after sitting all day!

Stretch your arms in front of you, and cross your arms in front of your torso so the right arm is above the left.

Bend your elbows and snug right elbow into the inside of the left. Pull your shoulders down.

Breathe and hold for 30 seconds before switching sides.

6. Modified Down Dog

Modified down dog is a great stretch to do at your desk.

Downward dog is one of the most frequently used yoga poses, as it gives a phenomenal stretch to the low back, hamstrings, lower legs, and feet.

You can perform a modified down dog into your chair by placing your hands on your chair and pressing through your hands as you move your chest towards your thighs. Keep your heels towards the floor.

7. Hamstring Stretch

Give your hamstrings some love with this gentle stretch.

The hamstrings are a frequently-overlooked muscle group that doesn’t always get a lot of love, especially if you’re sitting all day. Lengthen your hamstrings and give them a gentle stretch with this easy move.

Place one heel on your desk, flexing your foot and activating your toes. Fold forward gently over your leg, and hold your stretch for ten breaths.

If you want to watch these stretches performed together, here’s a quick video that features five of these poses in an office-friendly yoga flow:

READ THIS NEXT: Sitting at a desk all day? Check out the best walking pads to get you moving.

Printed from GetHealthyU.com

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