“Working at a desk for hours on end can leave your body full of aches, pains and stiffness. Even sitting in a well-designed chair, you’re likely to find your body feeling uncomfortable when sitting for long periods of time. You might find that your back, shoulders and neck feel stiff and that your hips are very tight. Even people who have made the switch to a Sit/Stand desk might still find themselves feeling stiff and achy from standing in the same spot for so long. This is because the human body is simply not designed to be sedentary, as our ancestors were hunter/gatherers and constantly on the move.
There are a number of stretches you can do throughout the day while you’re at your desk, taking only a few minutes. These stretches will help to loosen your muscles and keep you feeling comfortable while you’re at work and can help combat the risks of being in the same position for so many hours. Here, we run through some of the best stretches you can do at your desk, whether you’re sitting at a traditional desk or standing at a Sit/Stand desk.
When your neck is feeling stiff from sitting at a desk and looking at a computer for hours, a neck roll is a great way to relieve some of the pressure. Sit straight up in your chair, feet flat on the floor, and tilt your neck to the left or right until you feel the muscle in the side of your neck stretch. Hold for a few minutes and you should feel relief. To increase the stretch, you can place your hand on the side of your head and gently press down. This stretch can also be performed forward and backwards, to relieve the muscles at the front and back of the neck, not just those on the side. You can easily do this stretch from a Sit/Stand desk as well – just make sure to stand up straight when you perform the stretch.
Posterior Shoulder Stretch
To relieve tension in the shoulders, start by sitting up straight in your chair. Cross one arm across your body, and use the other arm to press your elbow against your chest. Hold for several seconds and repeat a few times for each arm. This will gently relieve the tension in your shoulders and release any tightness built up from sitting at your desk in the same position for an extended period of time. This is another stretch that can be easily performed when using a Sit/Stand desk.
For those who experience tension or stiffness in their back while they sit, the Torso Tension is excellent for relief. Begin by sitting up straight, and turn to the left, grasping the back of your chair with your left hand, and the arm of the chair with your right. Use your grip on the chair to pull yourself, twisting your midsection around. Repeat on the other side, taking care not to twist your torso too far.
Seated Hip Stretch
Sitting for long periods of time can make your hips very tight. Stretching your lower back and glutes with the seated hip stretch can relieve the tension. Sitting up straight with your spine aligned, rest your feet flat on the floor, aligning the back of the heel with your knee. Lift your right leg and rest your ankle on your left thigh keeping the toes pointed forward, and you should feel a stretch. If you are able to do so, you can deepen the stretch by slightly leaning forward, hinging from the hips. Hold for several seconds and repeat for the other leg.
Standing Quad Stretch
This is a perfect stretch for people who choose to use a Sit Stand Desk and helps relieve tension in the quadricep muscles. Begin by placing the left hand on the desk for balance, then bend your right leg behind you, grasping it with your right hand. Pull your foot towards your backside and hold, feeling the stretch. Repeat on the other side.
Standing Back Stretch
To release the tension that can build in your back after standing in the same spot for hours, this back stretch is very helpful and is particularly useful stretch if you use at a Sit/Stand desk. Stand a long stride behind your desk with your feet together and place both palms flat on the top of the desk. Hinge your hips, bending forward and lower your upper body between your arms and hold the stretch. Repeat until you feel relief in your back.
While it’s important to keep your body moving and to stretch throughout the day, choosing the right ergonomic chair or Sit/Stand desk can go a long way in helping your body avoid the issues that come with sitting at a desk for many hours each day. Shop our range today.
By: Richard Edwards
Published: 20th April 2018