Desk stretches for the weary worker

June 21, 2013

When you’re stuck sitting at a desk all day, it’s hard not to daydream about going home and pounding out a few miles on your exercise bike equipment – and it certainly doesn’t help that it’s well known that sitting down for hours on end is bad for you. Since you don’t have access to TRUE Stretch at the office, use these tactics to loosen those muscles that tighten up when you sit in one spot all day long:

Neck and shoulders
If you find that your shoulders are getting tense (which is bound to happen if you hunch over your keyboard), reach your arms behind you, interlocking your fingers so your palms face outward. Lift your arms to feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders. You can also place a hand underneath your elbow and lift your arm across your chest for a different shoulder stretch. To release tension in your neck, lower your chin to your chest and hold it there for 15 to 30 seconds.

To give your abs a good stretch, reach your arms overhead and lean back slightly so your chest and throat point toward the ceiling. You may need to get down on the floor for this one, so it’s best to try it out in the break room rather than next to your desk.

Lower back
If you need to stretch your lower back, begin by sitting forward in your chair. Bring one of your knees to your chest (using your hands for support by grabbing the back of your thigh and gently pulling your leg toward you). Hold this position for 30 seconds, then stretch the other leg.

This one is a great excuse to stand up. Place a hand on your desk for stability, then grab one of your ankles, pulling your foot upward toward your backside. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds – you should feel some tension in your thigh. Return to your starting position and give your other leg a good stretch.