Whether you work from home or in an office, you can fight the effects that come from sitting at a desk for hours at a time with a few simple stretches. These nine easy-to-do routines will help to relieve the associated stress, fatigue and stiffness.
1. Shoulder roll
- Raise your shoulders as high as they will go.
- Roll them forward and backward until you feel the tension release.
2. Neck tilt
- Keeping your shoulders loose and your face turned forward, lean your head toward your shoulder on one side then the other.
- Bend your head forward to touch your chin to your chest, then gently lean it back as far as you comfortably can.
- Repeat sequence twice.
3. Chest expansion
- Clasp your hands behind your head and pull your elbows backward, moving your shoulder blades together.
- Repeat three times.
4. Arm stretch
- Push your arms out straight to the sides, palms up, as far as they will go.
- Bend your arms and touch your shoulders with your fingertips.
5. Arm strengthening
- Sit in a chair with firm armrests. Sit normally with your feet on the floor and place your palms on the armrests, pushing yourself up with your hands as if getting up from the chair
- Hold when your legs are almost straight, then slowly lower yourself.
- Repeat twice on the first day, four times on the second and so on, aiming for ten repetitions in total.
6. Wrist pull
- Keeping your shoulders relaxed, make a fist with one hand and flex it inwards as far as you can toward your forearm.
- Press your fist gently with the other hand and hold for three seconds.
- End by circling your wrist and clenched fist inwards and outwards three times.
- Relax and do the same on the other side.
- Repeat the whole sequence.
7. Back stretch
- Fold your arms across your chest until your hands reach as far behind your back on the opposite side as possible, as if trying to hug yourself.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat with the opposite arm on top.
- Next, place your palms in the small of your back, elbows out, and arch your back forward, pulling your shoulder blades inwards.
- Hold for three seconds and relax.
8. Thigh stretch
- Place one foot on top of the opposite knee.
- Bend forward to touch your forehead on your knee.
- Repeat on the other side.
9. Leg lift
- Sitting with your feet away from your desk, stretch your legs out as far as you can.
- Raise each one in turn until it lifts your thigh away from your chair.
- Repeat ten times on each side.