Physical Therapy Stretches
You Can Do at Your Desk

Physical Therapy Stretches
You Can Do at Your Desk

Sitting at a desk or looking at a computer screen all day can cause major tension in your body. But, good news! Simple stretching can help release some of the stress you carry in your neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips. Our highly-skilled Physical Therapists have put together a list of stretches that will reduce tension and long-term injury — so simple, you can even do them while working! Keep reading to learn more!

Note: Hold each of these stretches for at least 30 seconds, and remember to breathe while in the pose. If you feel any tension or pain in a stretch or you find it difficult to breathe, ease out of it. Repeat each of these exercises a few times for the best results. Enjoy!

1 – Trunk Twist

The Trunk Twist is a great stretch to do at your desk. Sit on the edge of your chair and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Place your right hand on your left thigh or knee and your left hand on the back of the chair. Inhale to sit up straight and exhale to go deeper into the twist. After a few cycles of breath, repeat on the other side. You can do this as many times as you want to throughout the day. Trust us — it feels so good, you’ll want to!

2 – Chest Opener

This stretch takes just a few moments but can help you feel as if you just started the day! Stand to your feet and interlace your fingers or clasp your hands behind your back. Imagine your shoulder blades squeezing toward each other and down. You should feel a release in your upper back and chest that will move you into a healthy posture position that you can keep going back to for the rest of the day.

3 – Neck Rotation

Though it might be a familiar stretch, rotating your neck can have immense benefits. Start by bringing your chin to your chest, then rotate your chin toward one shoulder. Take a breath, and then go back through the center and toward your other shoulder. Repeat a few times to help release some of the tension that can accumulate at the back of the neck.

4 – Seated Cat-Cow

You don’t need to be on a yoga mat to reap the benefits of a cat-cow pose. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet firmly on the floor and place your hands on your knees. Inhale and arch your back, lift your chin, and pull your shoulder blades together. Exhale and round your spine, moving your chin toward your chest. Repeat these a few times when you need a release in your back and shoulders.

5 – Hamstring Stretch

Don’t forget about your legs! Doing hamstring stretches can help you release some of the tension that accumulates from being seated all day. While sitting on the edge of your chair, stretch one or both of your legs out in front of you and flex your feet. Reach toward your toes while relaxing your torso over your legs. This will not only help stretch out your hamstrings but can be a great release for your back as well.

6 – Hip Stretch

Sitting all day can cause tension in your hips and glutes, but you can release some of the tightness by doing a seated hip stretch. Plant your right foot on the ground and cross your left ankle over your right knee. Lean forward while keeping your back straight until you feel a stretch in your left hip. Gently pushing down on your left knee will deepen the stretch. Go through a few cycles of breath and then repeat this on the other side.

Life doesn’t need to be stressful. Doing these simple stretches at your desk throughout the day will help reduce tension and may even prevent long-term injury as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. We hope this list helps you, but if you’re seeking more mobility guidance and stress-relief, please come see our physical therapists or come in for a spa day at The BAWR!