After a long day of sitting at your desk, your body probably isn’t at its best. Maybe your neck stiffens up, or your back pain begins to worsen. You might even notice all your muscles feeling tight.
It’s easy to dismiss this discomfort as just part of the job, but your workday doesn’t have to end with aches and pains! A great way to help keep your body feeling healthy is to do desk stretches throughout the day.
Why Do Desk Stretches?
Oftentimes, workers don’t have room in their schedules to get up and exercise. That’s why desk stretches are perfect for even the busiest days! Since they don’t require you to leave your workspace, desk stretches can improve your blood flow without disrupting your workflow.
Best Desk Stretches for a Long Day of Sitting
When you’re hard at work, it’s easy to neglect your body’s well-being. You might feel tempted to power through the pain until it’s time to clock out. However, taking care of your body during the day can nip those post-work pains in the bud. The next time you feel stiff or tired during your 9 to 5, remember to try the following stretches at your desk.
1. Neck Rolls
If you stare at a computer screen to do your job, your neck may start to feel stiff from being locked in the same position all day. To help prevent tightness, this simple stretch uses gentle movements to relieve tension.
- Drop your head down in front of you.
- Slowly roll it counterclockwise.
- Once you make a full circle, roll it the other way.
- Repeat 10 times in both directions.
2. Reach Up Stretch
Maintaining proper posture can be tough when you’re sitting at a desk for hours. To work on your spinal alignment, try this stretch to elongate your back.
- Interlock your fingers.
- Put your hands above your head with your palms facing the ceiling.
- Sit straight and push your arms upward.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed for a nice back stretch.
- Hold for 10 seconds and repeat five times.
3. Wrist Stretch
Your hands might need some TLC from all that typing. Take a break from the keyboard and give this stretch a go.
- Press your palms together in front of your chest.
- Hold for 15 seconds.
- Press the backs of your hands together.
- Hold for 15 seconds.
- Repeat five times.
4. Hamstring Chair Stretch
If you’re sitting all day, chances are your legs will tighten up. To loosen up those muscles, perform this hamstring stretch at your desk chair.
- Hold onto the sides of your chair and straighten your legs.
- Fold your body toward your toes while keeping your back flat.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat three to five times.
5. Tummy Twist
A long day in a desk chair is a recipe for a backache. To help soothe and align your spine, try out this easy stretch.
- Sit straight up in your chair with your feet flat on the ground.
- Twist your body to the right.
- Place your left hand on your right knee and your right hand behind your chair.
- Repeat on the other side.
After experimenting with some of the above stretches, you can start integrating your favorites into your daily routine. Remember, in addition to stretching, it’s important to exercise often, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep to feel energized for work.
If you found these stretches helpful and would like to learn all 12, check out Tommy John’s visual below!