Finding a time and place to stretch at your workplace can be a challenge — you don’t want to be a distraction to the people around you, but it’s still important to stretch out the tense muscles in your neck and back.
Try these 10 quick stretches you can do right at your desk. They’re super easy to do and will have you feeling refreshed and refocused in no time for your next project.
1. Victory Pose
Standing: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Raise your arms straight above your head and take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold your breath as you reach up as far as you can with both arms. Exhale sharply through your mouth and return to starting position.
Sitting: Sit at the edge of your seat and sit up tall. Raise both arms up above your head and take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold your breath as you reach up as far as you can with both arms. Inhale and exhale sharply through your mouth and return to starting position.
2. Posture Reset
Standing: Stand with your feet slightly further apart than hip-distance. Turn feet out slightly and tuck your chin in. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Turn palms out and raise chest toward your chin as you exhale slowly.
Sitting: Sit at the edge of your seat with feet slightly further apart than hip-distance. Turn feet out slightly and tuck your chin in. Relax your arms and have them dangling by your sides. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Turn palms out and raise chest toward your chin as you exhale slowly.
3. Figure Four
Stand behind your chair and rest your hands on the top of your chair for balance. Lift your right leg and place your ankle on your left knee. Bend your left knee and lower yourself as far as you can go without losing balance. Hold for 3 seconds and slowly come back up to starting position. Repeat with other leg.
4. Wall Angel
Stand with your back flat against a wall or a flat surface. Raise both arms and bend at the elbow at a 90 degree angle. Breathe in deeply as you raise both arms above your head and bring them back down as you exhale slowly. Repeat 3 times.
5. Michael Jackson
While seated, look towards your right and lift your right arm. Place your hand on the top of your head and pull your head gently down. Hold for 3 seconds and release. Repeat on other side.
6. Yoga Breaths
Sit or stand tall. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat 3 times.
7. Runners Lunge
Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Take one large step with your right foot and shift your body weight onto that foot. Bend your left leg enough for your knee to almost touch the floor. Hold for 3 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat with other leg.
8. Door Stretch
Find a door or wall surface. Lift arm to shoulder height, palms facing up, and touch the wall or door. Take a step forward and hold for 3 seconds. Release and repeat on other arm.
9. Shoulder Squeeze
While seated, put both hands on your lap with palms facing up. From there, raise both arms off of your lap and rotate them to the sides so that your chest opens up while you squeeze your shoulder blades together in the back. It should look like the “I don’t know” pose. Hold for 3 seconds.
This is an especially good stretch because it requires very little work and you can do it right where you are sitting. Try making it a habit to hold this position when you are reading something on your computer and you don’t need to use your hands.
10. Chest Lift
While seated, clasp both hands behind your back and bring your shoulders back. Lift your chin and rotate your neck clockwise and anti-clockwise optionally. You should feel a stretch in your chest and neck muscles.
In addition to these stretches, you should also be striving for great posture all day long for increased productivity, and decreased back pain.
Get extra help for your posture with Lumo Lift
Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone, Windows desktop and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money-back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty. Learn More