Having to sit behind a desk all day can be wearing on both the body and the mind, and you may be wondering how to stretch while at your desk. When you’re doing the same thing over and over, it is all too easy to get frustrated and burn out, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you feel yourself getting to that point, take a few minutes to stand up and do a few stretches, so you can burn a few calories and release loads of tension without ever having to leave your desk.
Roll Your Neck
Rolling your neck is a great way to release tension from your shoulders and upper back, one of the first places you may begin to feel it. To perform a neck roll, close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out. Allow your chin to drop down to your chest and start to circle your head around your neck slowly. Bring your right ear to your right shoulder, let your head fall back, and then take your left ear to your left shoulder and let your chin drop down to your chest. Then, repeat this in the opposite direction. Take your time with this stretch, and be sure to relax your chest and shoulders as much as you can, breathing all the time.
Sitting Forward Bend
The sitting forward bend is another easy stretch to do at your desk. Start out by pushing your chair away from your desk and placing your feet flat to the floor. Put your hands behind your back and lace your fingers together. Straighten your arms and bend over at the waist, bringing your hands up and your arms straight up above your head and behind you. Let your chest make contact with the tops of your legs and relax your neck.
The Seated Twist
For this stretch, push your chair back from your desk so that you have plenty of room. Turn your body so that you are sitting sideways in your chair, and place your feet flat down on the floor. Twist your body around toward the back of your chair without moving your feet or twisting your bottom around in your seat. Hold the back of the chair with both hands. Then, turn the other way and repeat. The seated twist is a great way to stretch the spine after long hours seated in front of the computer.
These are just a few stretches that you can do at your desk, but virtually any stretch can be adapted to the seated position. If you need a bit more relief, get up and take a walk to to the far copy machine, or take the stairs to the downstairs bathroom instead of using the one on your floor. Some good stretches and a bit of movement can make a big difference when it comes to the tension you’re feeling at work throughout the day.