A huge number of today’s jobs require people to be sitting at a desk all day, however we all know that sitting down too much isn’t good for our posture or our health.
If you spend a lot of your day working at a desk, it’s best to take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Try the following ideas to help you remember:
- Set a timer on your phone
- Put a reminder program on your computer
- Leave your water bottle on another desk or use a small glass of water so that you need to walk to the kitchen to refill it frequently
Some workplaces now offer the option of a sit/stand desk which is wonderful and we recommend you take advantage of this if your workplace offers it!
It’s also great to leave the office at lunch time – maybe go outside and look at the sky and get some fresh air or go for a short walk if you can.
However, if you can’t do this, we’ve devised some simple stretches and exercises that you can do at your desk. Even better – stand up and do your stretches to give your body a break from sitting! Encourage your workmates to join you; we promise you’ll all feel better for it!
We’ve even created this PDF cheatsheet so you can print it out and stick it up at your desk as a reference and reminder.
Excellent desk exercises:
See PDF cheatsheet for images of all stretches
- NECK ROTATION
Gently turn your head from side to side. Repeat 5 times each side.
- NECK SIDE FLEXION
Gently tilt your head from side to side. Repeat 5 times each side.
- NECK FLEXION
Gently bring your chin towards your chest. Repeat 5 times.
- NECK EXTENSION
Gently look up towards the ceiling. Repeat 5 times.
- SHOULDER ROLLS
Gently roll your shoulders forwards. Repeat 5 times, then repeat backwards 5 times.
- HEAD NODS
Gently nod your chin (like making a double chin). Hold 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
- CHEST STRETCH
Clasp your hands together and reach behind your back. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- TRICEPS STRETCH
Gently pull on raised elbow with other hand to feel stretch down back of arm. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per arm.
- SHOULDER STRETCH
Gently pull arm forward across body to feel stretch across back of shoulder. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per arm.
- SIDE BENDING (pictured)
Clasp your hands together above your head. Gently lean to one side. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per side.
- TRUNK ROTATION
Reach across body and grasp back of chair. Gently look over shoulder. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per side.
- SHOULDER BLADE SQUEEZES
Keep elbows bent. Gently squeeze shoulder blades together. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
No stretches or exercises should cause you pain. If you do experience pain or discomfort please stop the exercises. Our Physiotherapists are here to help you with any postural related issues or spinal pain you may be experiencing.
Please call or book online to see one of our Physiotherapists.
This post was written by Lucy Beumer, Sports Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre.