Desk Stretching Routine

Desk Stretching Routine

by Laura Pinkstaff

Stretching is an important part of health and exercise. Stretching can clear your mind and relieve tension that builds from too much stress and sitting all day long.  Below are six simple stretches you can do at work throughout the day.  Try to do these stretches at least once in the morning and again at the end of the day.  Over time you will feel the difference and gain more flexibility and movement to help with your regular exercise routine.


Stand or sit up straight in your chair. Try to touch your right ear toward your right shoulder so you feel a mild stretch on the left side of your neck. Relax and let your left shoulder drop. Place your right hand on your head and pull down gently to where you feel the stretch but don’t pull to where you are having pain. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat on left side.

Drop your head down and tuck in your chin. Slowly turn your chin toward your left shoulder, and then slowly turn toward your right shoulder. Repeat this move up to 10 times. Don’t make complete circles by tilting your head back, as this can put stress on your spine.

Stand or sit up straight in your chair, with your shoulders down. Keeping your head and neck stable, slowly roll your shoulders forward, up, and then back to complete a full circle. Concentrate on creating as large a circle as possible without scrunching your shoulders toward your ears. Repeat the circle 10 times in one direction and then 10 in the opposite direction.

Sit comfortably in your chair and place your right ankle on your left knee. Slowly circle your right foot clockwise 20 times, then counterclockwise 20 times. Repeat with the left foot. Do this as often as you can throughout the day especially if you wear high heels.

After each set, gently press your knee down and lean forward to stretch your piriformis muscle. This muscle is commonly known to compress the sciatic nerve and this exercise will help relieve some symptoms.

Back and chest
Sit or stand up tall with your arms out to the side, elbows bent, palms forward, and fingers pointed upward toward the ceiling. Keeping your spine straight, press your arms back until you feel a slight stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold this for 30 seconds, then rest. Do this 10 times.

Forearms and hands
Extend your right arm out in front of you with your palm facing forward and your fingers pointed to the ceiling. Use your left hand to stretch your right hand’s fingers and palm back toward you as far as they will comfortably go. Hold that position for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat on your left hand.