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5 Office Stretches - Desk Friendly Stretches to Stay Healthy

21 February 2024

It can get monotonous, tiring, and exhausting to sit in the same position all day long. At the same time, it can result in shoulder, neck, and back pain due to stiffening in the muscles. Here are some stretches that you can do while sitting at your office desk and their benefits.

Importance of Stretches in the Office

Most of the working population all over the world sit behind office desk for 8 hours a day every day of their lives. That is a huge chunk of their entire lives and too many extended hours of being in the sitting position. Sitting for prolonged hours has been shown to negatively affect the body. It can cause a number of health problems to develop over time. It is best to take action before any symptoms begin.

Sitting in the incorrect posture can cause misalignment of the spine, upper and lower back pain, and neck and shoulder pain. It is not recommended to sit for longer than 30 minutes at a stretch, and it is advised to take frequent breaks to allow your muscles to get a break and to allow blood to circulate to all of your muscles.

The best thing to do is to organize your day in such a manner as to incorporate an hour of workout into your daily routine every day. You can either jog in the morning, join a yoga class, or invest in a gym membership. But if your work is demanding and you are unable to catch a break during the day, there are ways that you can incorporate some light stretches in between work hours while remaining at your desk.

Whether or not you manage to work out, you should do these light stretches during your office hours to prevent your muscles from becoming stiff and to increase circulation in your muscles.

Benefits Of Desk Stretch:

Increases Circulation

Sitting in the same position for prolonged hours can cause your muscles to become stiff and tense and squeeze the blood vessels, preventing blood from reaching all parts of your muscles. Relaxing and stretching the muscles out can help increase circulation and provide blood and nutrition to all parts of your muscles and their cells. Oxygen and nutrient-rich blood reaches all parts of the cells in the body and helps nourish them, relax, and loosen them up.

Helps Digestion

Sitting in a slouched or hunched posture can cause the abdominal muscles to become cramped causing indigestion to occur. If you sit in a slouched position after having a meal or eat in the same hunched position it can cause discomfort, indigestion, and acidity in the individual.

Wakes You Up

Doing stretches in between work can help distract your mind, give your eyes a break, and help to make you feel energized and refreshed. Sitting in the same position for extended hours and staring at the screen can cause you to 'burn out', and feel exhausted and fatigued. Doing some light exercise increases circulation, brings your heart rate up, and makes you feel more alert and focused

Prevents Neck And Shoulder Sprains From Occurring

Sitting in the same position for prolonged hours can cause neck and shoulder sprains. This is especially true for people who work in the incorrect posture. Sitting in a hunched-over or bent posture can cause your neck and shoulder to strain. Bending your head due to a low screen or a low workstation puts a lot of strain on the neck as it has to do extra work to hold your head up. The head is heavy, and it requires a lot of effort to hold the head up. Therefore it is important to make sure that you maintain the correct posture when working as well as ensure that your chair and workstation are of the correct height.

Prevents Misalignment Of The Spine

Sitting in an incorrect posture can result in a misalignment of the spine. This can result in several problems. Since the spine's natural shape is an 'S' shaped curve, it requires the kind of chair with the appropriate lumbar support to maintain and support the spine's natural shape. If the spine is not well supported, it can put a lot of pressure on the discs holding the spine resulting in spinal nerve compression, disc compression, nerve problems, sciatica, and other complications.

Prevents Breathing Problems

If you sit in a slouched or hunched position for a long time, your chest muscles tend to become stiff and tightened. This makes breathing harder, and the person has to work extra hard to inhale and exhale. Taking frequent breaks from sitting and doing some stretches prevents the muscles from becoming stiff and tight and allows easy breathing for the individual

What Kind of Desk Stretches Can You Do In the Office

Here are a few quick stretches that you can do while you are sitting at your desk at the office. Make sure to remain seated in your chair with your feet planted firmly and flat on the ground. The knees should be bent at right angles to your body. Your eyes should look straight ahead, and your head should be straight.

1. Tricep Stretch

Raise your right arm over your head and bend it so that it goes to the other side

Hold your right elbow with your left hand and pull it towards your head gently and hold for 30 seconds

Repeat thrice and then change arms and do the same for the other side

2. Upper Body Stretch

Interlock your fingers and raise both arms above your head with your palms facing outwards

Stretch both arms and reach for the sky

Hold this pose for 30 seconds

3. Forward Stretch

For this stretch, you may need to rotate your chair so that you have some space in front of you

Clasp your hands together and stretch them forward

Lower your head towards your arms, keeping your knees bent at right angles and feet planted flat on the ground.

Hold for 30 seconds and release

4. Torso Stretch

While sitting on your chair put one arm behind the back of your chair

Feet planted firmly on the ground, twist your body gently to the side of your arm that is behind the chair.

Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then repeat the same on the other side.

5. Over Head Reach

Raise your right arm over your head and reach for the opposite side.

Make sure to remain seated and keep your back straight

Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and not raised

Hold this pose for 30 seconds and bring your arm down

Raise the opposite arm and repeat the same

Ergonomic Office Furniture

It is very important to invest in good quality ergonomic office furniture to maintain the correct posture while in the workplace and minimize any injuries and discomfort.

The Best Ergonomic Office Desk

Your office desk is your workstation where all your work gets done. This includes your laptop, important work documents, keyboards, mouse, and other office-related equipment. It should have the following features:

It Should Be Wide Enough

To accommodate everything on the desk easily

It Should Be Long Enough

To prevent items from becoming too cramped on the desk

It Should Be Durable And Spill Proof

There are often coffee and water spills on your workstation; the desk should be of good quality material and easy to clean

It Should Have an Adjustable Height Feature

The most important feature of a work desk is its height. It should be at the correct height so that your arms comfortably rest at right angles to your body. The screen should be at eye level, and wrists and elbows should be at right angles to your body and in line. All items should be within reach on the desk to prevent overextending the arms to prevent wrist and elbow strains from occurring.

FlexiSpot has some of the best office desk options to choose from. They are sturdy, lightweight, durable, and ideal for office use or may even be used in the home office.

The Best Ergonomic Office Chair

the seat you choose to sit on can significantly impact your back and spinal health. Therefore, you must choose the best ergonomic office chair that helps maintain your posture, supports your spine, and prevents upper and lower back problems.

Other Tips That You Can Incorporate While In The Office

Take a walk around your office

Take a water break or a bathroom break so you can walk around a little

Socialize with your colleagues

Give your eyes a break from the screen

The Final Word

Sitting at a desk for extended hours can have long-term adverse effects on your back and spine. Therefore it is important to take action right away. Make sure to invest in good quality ergonomic furniture in the workplace, especially a work desk of the appropriate height. This is easily available at FlexiSpot along with other ergonomic office essentials. It helps to do light stretches while sitting at your desk to get your blood flowing and to maintain your health and focus in the workplace.