Long, grueling days at the office can be hard on you and your body. Here are our top 5 desk stretches you can do at your desk. These desk stretches can help relieve stiffness, restore blood flow to your muscles, and oxygenate your brain. Adding these stretching in your day can help ensure that your body is feeling it’s best!
But first, why is stretching important?
We generally recommend 3-5 minutes or longer, if possible, every 1-2 hours. A “break” does not have to be for a long duration and can be as short as 30 seconds. Even if it is getting up to get a drink of water or doing one or two stretches, this will help to reduce muscle tightness and fatigue. Taking quick breaks can increase productivity and creativity during the work day.
The most important thing to remember while stretching is that form is important! Go slow and make sure you are feeling each movement as it is intended. This will ensure you are getting the most from each stretch.
These stretches can be performing sitting or standing. They can be repeated multiple times a day. Not only are they great for bringing blood flow to your muscles, but they can help keep your posture in alignment throughout the day.
Top 5 Desk Stretches
Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Relax your shoulders. Look straight ahead. Glide your chin straight back. It’s a small movement. Don’t tilt your head up or down, or bend your neck forward. Hold for 5 seconds. Then relax. Repeat 5 times.
Sit on one hand. Tilt your head away from the hand you’re sitting on. Tilt your head forward, towards your shoulder. You should feel the muscles in your neck and shoulder being stretched. Change sides, and repeat.
Start in a seated position. Place your arms out in front of you with your elbows tucked into your sides. This should look like you’re holding a tray. Slowly move your arms out beside you while trying to pinch your shoulder blades together. Imagine trying to squeeze a pencil between your shoulder blades. Hold the pinch for 5-10 seconds them relax. Repeat 5 times.
Seated Eccentric Trap Stretch
Seated in an upright position with shoulders place down and back, hold a light weight in the left hand. With the same arm holding the weight, elevate the left shoulder toward the left ear. Then bend the head toward the right shoulder. With the head bent toward the right, relax the left shoulder. Let the weight pull the arm back in to the “shoulders back and down” position. Finally bring the head back to neutral. Repeat 10 times, then change sides.
Seated Scapular CARS
Sit up tall and straight. Make a fist with both hands and inhale. As you exhale, bring your shoulders up, slowly squeezing your shoulder blades together as you reach back. Bring them down and forward to repeat rotation motion. Use slow and controlled motions. Repeat 5 times.
How Often Should I Stretch?
We generally recommend trying to stretch for 3-5 minutes or longer, if possible, every 1-2 hours. A “break” does not have to be for a long duration and can be as short as 30 seconds. In addition to desk exercises, you can get up to get a drink of water or take a quick lap around the office.
Intermittent breaks will help to reduce muscle tightness and fatigue, and improve blood flow. Taking quick breaks can increase productivity and creativity during the work day.
Additional Ways To Get In Movement at Work
Some of other favorite ways to take a break and get in movement throughout the day include:
Take a Walk
A quick walk is one of the best ways to get blood flow moving. It gives your body a break from sitting in a static position for too long. We love using the last half of our lunch break to get in a few steps. This can be around the office, parking lot or if you’re lucky a nearby trail or sidewalk.
Desk Bike or Treadmill
However, we know getting up and away from your desk multiple times of day is sometimes not possible. Luckily, there are now a bunch of options available for under the desk bikes or treadmills. These are great because you can use to get movement while still working.
One of our favorite tools for this is the Cubii, which is an under the desk elliptical. The Cubii is great because it’s light weight, compact and easily portable. It’s great to get in silent movement anywhere while you’re sitting. It’s also great for people with knee, hip and ankle pain as a rehabilitative device!
If you’re interested in purchasing a Cubii, you can use special discount code “Kaizo22” for 15% off.
Another great way to help blood flow throughout the day is to use a standing desk or sit to stand desk.
Standing is a great alternative to sitting and can reduce the amount of stress on the body that sitting can cause during an 8-10 hour work day. Using a Sit to Stand Desk can provide a work environment that supports both sitting and standing. This allows you to be able to change positions often throughout the day.
Get Treated at Kaizo Health
Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free. We also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance. We want to make sure you get the most from your benefits. You should experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now.
Kaizo Health offers locations in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA. Our doctors an evidence-based approach by combining chiropractic care and individualized rehabilitative exercises. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health. We are here to help! If you’d like more information, check out our blog. You can also take our free virtual self-assessment on app here.