Stretches to Stay Comfortable at Your Desk

Stretches to Stay Comfortable at Your Desk

An ergonomic workspace is important to help maintain good posture while working. When you sit stationary for too long or sit in a slouched position, different muscle groups can become tight or weakened which can create discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and lower back. Our Physiotherapists recommend moving regularly which can help to reduce symptoms and increase blood flow.

Some simple tricks to keep in mind:

  • Do not stay in one position for too long. Your muscles become tight and/or weakened.
  • Take regular breaks away from your desk/computer.

Start with stretching to help release tight muscles

Chest Stretch – Lock your hands together behind your back and push your hands backwards, whilst pushing your chest forwards. Gently roll your shoulders back and down as you feel the stretch over the front of your chest and shoulders.

Side body/Arm Stretch – Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Reach your right hand towards the ceiling and lean your body to the left. You should feel a stretch on your right side. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times on the right, and then move to the left side.

Hip flexors Stretch – Kneel down on one knee and step your other leg out in front of you. Keeping your body upright, push your hips forwards, stretching through the front of the back leg.To increase the stretch, reach your arm (opposite arm to front leg) straight up over your head. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Simple exercises for strengthening important muscle groups

Chin tuck – stand or sit straight, looking ahead, and place two fingers on your chin. Draw your chin back towards your spine, lengthening through the back of your neck, and keeping your eyes forwards. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat 5 times.

Draw your shoulder blades back – lie on your front with your arms by your side and your palms facing upwards. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and then lift your arms an inch off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly relax. Repeat 10 times.

Arm rotation – stand or sit straight, and hold a resistance band between your hands. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and gather up the tension in the band. With your elbows by your side, gently draw your shoulder blades back and lengthen your neck. Keeping this position, stretch the band, moving your hands apart. Control the movement as you bring your hands back into the starting position and repeat. Ensure your shoulders do not round at any point.

Try to move your neck and shoulders regularly to increase blood flow

Shoulder Rolling – Sit upright in a chair and shrug your shoulders up to your ears, then gently roll them back and downwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Neck movement – Sit up straight in a chair. Place one arm behind your lower back. Sitting up tall, tilt your head gently away from this side. You should feel a stretch in your neck.

Posture – Before starting work, check your posture.  Move your shoulder blades back, gently nod your head and move your head back on your body.

Finally – Do not forget to stay hydrated. This helps to improve circulation.

This article is written by Mia Okada, Myotherapist and Remedial Massage Therapist.

If you would like any more information, or to book an appointment, please click the link or contact us on 9078 8434 or

Published May 19, 2021


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