A staggering number of Americans – 65 million – report having a recent issue of back pain. About 8 percent of all adults have consistent, or chronic, back pain.
The combination of health care costs and indirect costs contribute to a $12 billion industry. Indirect costs include missed days at work and disability payments.
If you work a desk job, the odds are high that you fall into one of these categories.
Before you spend money at the doctor’s office, consider these stretches for desk workers. They aim to relieve tension and stress in the low back, neck, and hip flexors. You can even do these stretches while at work!
Consider adding the following poses into your daily routine.
1. Figure-4 Stretch
While seated, bend the right leg and place the right ankle atop the left leg, near the knee. You’ll notice a 4-shape, hence the name. Keep your right foot flexed to protect the knee.
Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds. For more intensity, gently press the right knee away, increasing the opening. Repeat on the left side.
This stretch targets the hip flexor of the bent leg.
2. Neck Rolls
Start by gently dipping your right ear toward your right shoulder, being careful not to raise the shoulder to meet the ear. Hold, then repeat on the left side. After, gently gaze up, stretching the front of the neck, then tuck the chin, softly stretching the back of the neck.
After these warm-ups, trace a half-circle or full circle with your neck, doing gentle neck rolls. Do this slowly for about 15 seconds. If you chose a full circle, switch directions after 15 seconds.
3. Seated Lateral Stretches
While seated, lengthen the spine, letting shoulders fall down the back. Place your left hand on your left thigh for support. Gently raise your right arm straight up, then off to the left.
Notice the lengthening on the right side of the body. Hold, then repeat on the opposite side. This simple stretch is ideal for workers who spend a lot of time sitting, like accountants, lawyers, drivers, and insurance agents.
Employees like those at this firm will enjoy a gentle lateral movement of the spine.
4. Knee to Chest
Find a comfortable seat on your chair. Let your left leg stay as-is while bending the right knee and hugging it to your chest. Place your hands on your shin for support and to deepen the stretch.
Hold for 15-20 seconds while maintaining a straight spine. Repeat with the left leg.
5. Seated Hamstring Stretch
Again, you can do this stretch while seated right at your desk.
Straighten the right leg, heel to the floor, toes facing the ceiling. The left leg can remain bent. With a straight spine, hinge from the hips and fold over the straightened right leg.
Hold for 15-20 seconds, then repeat on the left side.
Try These Stretches for Desk Workers – Even While You’re at Work!
You don’t have to be super flexible to do these exercises. These stretches for desk workers are accessible for all body types, providing you much-needed relief. Consider doing one (or all) of these a few times a day.
For more lifestyle tips and tricks, be sure to keep scrolling our blog. And if you haven’t already, fix that posture!