Stretching While Working at Your Desk
Here are some of our favourite stretches that, when combined, should give you a mini full body workout right at your desk!
Step 1 – Seated Crescent Moon
With your hands clasped and your arms stretched over your head, take 2-3 breaths as you lean to the left and then again to the right. This will help clear your head and help your spine recover from being hunched over all day.
Step 2 – Wrist and Fingers
Extend your arms fully and do 5-10 clockwise and counterclockwise circles with your wrists. Follow this by spreading your fingers and clenching a fist 5-10 times as well. With all the typing you do on a daily basis, these exercises will keep your digits limber for all the memos, briefs, and lol’s you have coming the rest of the day.
Step 3 – Pigeon Pose
Sit in your chair with both feet flat on the ground. Cross one leg over the other so that the foot in the air is resting on your knee at a 90-degree angle. You should feel some pressure on your thigh as you take 10 breaths before switching sides. This will help realign your spine which can get out of place from sitting improperly all day.
Step 4 – Sit to Stand
Sit with your knees at a 90-degree angle and your feet flat on the ground. Stand up without using your hands or arms or leaning forward. Once you stand up, try and sit back down the same way. Do this 5-10 times to activate your glutes and hamstrings which can become inactive during a typical work day of sitting.
Step 5 – Desk-assisted Push Up
Find a sturdy desk and place your hands on it, shoulder length apart. Begin bending your elbows to 90 degrees before pushing yourself back up. Repeat this motion 10 times to wake up your muscles in the middle of a lazy day. This is great for your whole upper body.
Step 6 – Upward Desk Dog
Bend over 90-degrees at the waist and place your hands flat on a desk. Bring your hips towards the desk, using your legs to keep you from sinking, before pulling yourself up while stretching your chest and hold. This will open up your whole body from the closed position it takes as you type at your desk.
Step 7 – Desk-assisted plank
Take some of the stress out of planking while still enjoying the benefits. While standing, put your hands shoulder width apart on your desk. Start to walk backwards until you can begin to feel some tension in your hips. Hold for 10 breaths and watch as your hips loosen while you stretch your spine and hamstrings.
Using some or all of these stretches on a daily basis can be a big help in turning days at your desk into a happier, healthier experience. If any of these are new to you, you should check with your healthcare practitioner or a certified yoga instructor.