Stretches for sitting at a desk

Sitting at a desk all day can make your back feel achy and tight. If your workplace doesn’t encourage you to get up throughout the day and take short walks, there is still something you can do to help stretch your back. There are simple stretches that can ease tightness – right from your workstation. These stretches don’t require you to keep anything extra at your desk or purchase any equipment.

Simple twist. While sitting in your chair, keep your feet flat on the ground, about shoulder-width apart.  Keep your legs and hips stationary and turn only your upper body toward your left side. Put your right hand on your left knee, and, if it’s comfortable, you can extend the twist by looking behind you, over your left shoulder. Hold the pose for two breaths and, on exhale, release to center. Repeat the twist to your other side.

Sitting glute stretch. From a sitting position, place your right ankle on your left knee, and keep your left foot on the floor. Let your left hand rest on your right shin and reach your right arm forward until you can feel tightness in your right glute.  Hold for two deep breaths. Make sure you stay comfortable; if the stretch hurts, back off. Release your right leg, switch sides, and repeat.

Upward looking backbend. Safely sit near the edge of your chair and put your palms on the small of your back. Bend your back slightly, look toward the ceiling and raise your chest toward the sky. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale, release the stretch.

Chest opener . Stand up and clasp your hands behind you. Interlock your fingers, raise your arms and pull your shoulders back until you feel tightness in your chest. Hold for a deep breath and release.

As always, when making choices about your health, especially after surgery, consult a physician or physical therapist when considering changes in your physical activity.

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