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5 stretches you can do at your desk to boost energy (and productivity)

We all know that sitting for extended periods of time is bad for your body and mind.

Neck pain, back pain, wrist pain, tiredness, lack of creativity and low productivity can all be a result of desk bound jobs.

Here are 5 simple stretches you can do while sitting to improve your mind and body without leaving the office.

Chest/Shoulder Opener

Sitting on the edge of your chair, clasp your hands behind your back, opening up your chest and shoulders. Inhale/exhale several times, repeating the breath 3-4 times.

Seated Twist To Release The Back

Sitting forward on your chair while keeping a long, tall spine. Place your right hand on the outside of your left knee, use that hand as leverage to twist to your left. Place your left hand as far to the right as possible on the back of your chair this gives you something to hold on to and to pull against as your right hand pushes. Find your focus on the breath, as you inhale pull up tall through your spine and as you exhale twist deeper and draw your navel to your spine. Hold for 3 breaths and the repeat in the opposite direction.

Wrist Stretch

While seated, extend your right arm forward at shoulder height. Keeping your elbow straight, hold your right fingers with your left hand, and slowly put a little pressure to bend the wrist backward until you feel a stretch along the bottom of the forearm. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds then bend the same wrist downward until a stretch is felt on the top of the arm, and hold for another 10-15 seconds. Switch and repeat for the other wrist.

Seated Pigeon Glute Stretch

Sit on the edge of your chair and place your right ankle over your left knee. Be sure that your left foot is directly under your left knee for stability. Lean forward, keeping your back straight, and you will immediately feel a stretch in the right glute. Continue leaning forward as far as you can comfortably go, resting gently on the top knee with your right hand. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release and swap legs.

Hamstring Stretch

Stand about half a metre behind your chair. Stand up straight, with your shoulders back and feet pointing forward. Keep your knees straight, but not locked and bend at the hips to a 90-degree angle resting your hands on the back of the chair. Lean the weight of your body forward on the chair and feel the stretch in the belly of the hamstring (mid thigh, not behind the knee). Hold for 20 - 30 seconds, breath and relax your neck. Repeat a few times noticing less resistance each time.

Set an alarm to stretch every hour and find yourself feeling less tense and more productive! You don’t have to complete all 5 stretches each time, simply select 2-3 and gradually add in longer holds and a bit more creativity as the mini stretch sessions become part of your daily schedule.

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