Many people have become more focused on their health these days. For instance, you might have improved your physical health by starting a workout routine, or you might have shifted your emotional health through options like cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you work at a desk, however, you may have noticed some aches and pains from sitting in the same position all day. Adding some stretches to your routine can help. Stretching can loosen tight muscles and provide much-needed movement.
Here you’ll find some of the best stretches for people who work at a desk.
1. Spinal Twist
For this stretch, start in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your ab muscles, and gently rotate your upper body to one side. If comfortable, turn your head slightly to look over your shoulder. Keep your back straight and your hips facing forward.
After several seconds to a minute, turn slowly back to the front. Then, repeat this stretch on the other side.
This stretch can help loosen your back muscles, which may become tight after sitting in an office chair. A little goes a long way with this stretch, so only twist as far as you can while remaining comfortable.
2. Chest and Shoulder Stretch
You can stretch your chest and shoulders while seated, or you can stand to do this stretch. Hold your arms behind your back, lacing your fingers together if you feel able. Straighten your arms, lift your hands, and hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
Your upper body may carry a lot of tension, especially if you hunch your shoulders while working. Chest and shoulder stretches can help you release some of that tension.
3. Shoulder and Upper Arm Stretch
This stretch is sometimes called the “one-armed hug.” To do this stretch, hold one arm straight in front of your body at shoulder level, parallel to the floor. Keep your arm straight, and use your opposite hand to hug your arm across your chest. When done, do the stretch with your other arm.
Like the chest and shoulder stretch above, this stretch can help you release some of the upper body tension that accumulates while working at a computer.
4. Hip Stretch
Sitting in an office chair can cause people to tighten their hip flexors. Stretching the hip flexors can provide better mobility for the lower body.
There are many stretches that can loosen tight hip flexors. This particular hip flexor stretch can be done from your office chair if you need a quick break.
While sitting up straight, cross your ankle over the opposite knee. Keep your back straight while you lean forward. Then, hold the position for several seconds. Repeat this stretch on the opposite side.
5. Neck Rotation Stretch
While seated or standing, you can gently roll your head from side to side, loosening your neck muscles. Don’t move your head too far in one direction or the other. A gentle movement can make a big difference with this stretch.
Your neck supports your head all day, which can cause stiffness, especially if you sit with your shoulders forward. This stretch can prevent sore muscles.
Sometimes, people become so focused on their work that they forget to take a break. Small stretches throughout the day can provide a great way to loosen muscles and reduce stress.
Don’t forget that your health matters, and movement can increase your productivity and overall well-being.
When you start doing these stretches, never stretch further than is comfortable. While you’ll want to feel a slight stretch, you should stop immediately and talk to your doctor if you feel any pain.