I’m not naturally a person who is good at sitting still. I notice when I’ve been sitting at my desk all day so I thought these three easy-to-do-at-your-desk stretches might be useful to share.
I’ve targeted the three areas that get me when I’ve been sitting down for 8 hours or so: wrists, shoulders and lower back.
One of the best ways to avoid feeling stiff after a day’s work is to get up and move around as much as you can. Some days it doesn’t work out like that, so you can do these stretches without getting up from your desk.
I find my wrists get restless from being in the same position and I need to stretch them out.
I love this stretch, it’s easy to do, quick and really effective. Trust me, it takes longer to describe that to do!
- Put your palms together in front of your chest, as if you were going to say a prayer
- Open your palms away from you so that your thumbs are touching (as if you were warming your hands on the fire)
- Point your fingers down and bring the backs of your hands together. In order to do this, your elbows will come forward and your forearms will be parallel to the floor
- Keeping the backs of your hands together, bring your finger tips to point towards your chest
- Keep moving your fingertips in a circle so now they are pointing up to the ceiling. The backs of your hands are still touching
- With your fingertips still pointing up to the ceiling, peel the backs of your hands apart, keeping your little fingers touching, and bring your palms back together in the position you started with
If you like this stretch, I’ve written about it in more detail and included step by step photos.
My shoulders can be tense, especially my right shoulder as I use my right hand on my mouse and I have a tendency to hunch it.
- Sitting on a chair straighten your back as much as possible
- Take a deep breath in and stretch your arms out to the sides and bring them up as close to your ears as possible. Make sure you haven’t hunched up your shoulders
- As you breathe out, interlace your fingers and turn your hands so the palms of your hands are facing the ceiling
- Return to your shoulders now and see if you can push them away from your ears as far down your back as you can
- As long as it’s comfortable, hold this pose for 3-5 long deep breaths and feel the magic start to work!
You can do this one straight after the shoulder stretch as you also need to start sitting in a chair with a straight back.
I’ve written before about the benefits of sitting with a straight back if you want to find out more, and see an easy trick to making sitting up straight more comfortable.
- Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, sink backwards and let your back curl as if you were slouching on the sofa
- As you breathe in again move your back so you’re sitting up straight and this time arch your back so your tummy and chest stick out. Let your shoulders flop down and backwards
- That’s it! Keep this up: slouching backwards as you breathe out, then straightening up and pushing your tummy out as you breathe in
You can really get your breathing to work with you in this pose which makes it feel fantastic.