5 stretches you can do at your desk

Sitting for extended periods of time can be harmful in various ways from muscle degeneration, to a stiff spine, to a strained neck and poor blood flow.

Alternating between standing and sitting is a great way to start getting the blood flowing, as well as taking short walks around the office, but if you’re really restricted to your desk, our resident PT Cam Furse has given us these exercises to try:

1. Tight hamstrings? Let loose with a seated hamstring stretch

  • While sitting at the edge of a chair, straighten one leg in front of your body with your heel on the floor.
  • Now, sit up straight and try pushing your belly button towards your thigh without leaning the trunk of your body forwards.
  •  Repeat with the other leg.

2. Lower back pain? Can’t squat? Tight hips? Make a change with a standing hip flexor stretch

  • Start standing straight up and place your legs into a split stance (one forward, one rear).
  • Then, slowly lunge forward by bending your front leg. With your chest high, straighten your hip of your rear leg by pushing forward. Hold the stretch.
  • Repeat with the other side.

 3. Rounded shoulders? Hunched forward? Stretch those pecs, back and shoulders with a seated chest stretch

  • Start sitting straight up. Place your hands behind your head and try to pull your elbows towards each other behind your head.
  • Then, slightly lean backwards to stretch the thoracic spine.

4. Tight glutes? Lengthen those muscles with a seated glute stretch

  • Sit on a chair or the end of a bench and cross your legs with the outside of your ankle resting on your lower thigh.
  • Then, push your knee downward and hold the stretch.
  • Repeat with the opposite side.

5. Stiff back? Stretch your lats and back muscles with a Reach for the Stars stretch

  • Interlace your fingers and reach up towards the sky as high as you can, keeping your palms facing up towards the ceiling.
  • Then, lean slightly left and then right to target different areas.