Sitting at a desk all day does not give the body much opportunity to stretch. Keep the blood flowing and the tightness at bay by practicing these small stretching movements. These simple stretches will invigorate your body and keep you relaxed.
Work Stretch 1. Calf Toning Stretch
While sitting in a chair at your desk place your feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift the heel of right foot off of the floor, keeping the toes on the floor. The calf muscle will flex. Hold for approximately five seconds, and slowly release. Repeat this stretch eight to ten times. Repeat the stretch on the left side.
This calf toning stretch can be done with one leg at a time, or with both simultaneously. Do fewer or more stretches, depending on the time you have and your comfort level.
You should feel this stretch in the calf muscle.
Work Stretch 2. Pectoral Stretch
Your body will welcome this simple pectoral stretch when you are sitting at your desk. Reach your left arm across your body, grabbing your right shoulder. Move slowly. The elbow of the left arm should rest slightly to the right of the center of the chest. Use the right hand to hold the elbow, steadying the arm.
With the left arm across the body, as described above, firmly and gently hold the arm there for eight to ten seconds, or however long is comfortable. The stretch will be felt in the pectoral muscle, mainly between the chest and the underarm. The stretch will also be felt in the shoulder of the arm that is stretched out.
Be sure to do the opposite side as well.
Work Stretch 3. Wrist Circles
Sitting at a desk all day, especially when you are typing and using a mouse can be painful for the wrist. There are gentle ways to keep the wrist from tightening up. Slowly turn the hand in a clockwise circle, moving the hand from the wrist. Repeat in the opposite direction. One direction will be easier than the other, which will let you know where the tightness lies. Repeat with the opposite hand. Gently shake hands out.
Work Stretch 4. Shoulder Rolls
When you are sitting up straight in your chair, place your hands flat on the edge of desktop. Bring your shoulders forward, and then move them up slightly, and then roll them towards the back. Repeat five to eight times. Also, reverse the movement by going from the back to the front.
This is a very small movement that can help loosen tension in the shoulders. If your hands are not comfortable on the edge of the desk, try putting them flat, or keep them by your sides. Do what is comfortable.
Work Stretch 5. Hip Stretch
The Hip Stretch is not as subtle as the others, but it can still be done sitting at your desk. Depending on your current level of flexibility, you may not be able to do this full stretch. Rest the ankle of your right foot on your left knee. If you are sitting up straight, you should feel the stretch in the hip on your right side. To deepen the stretch, flex the foot.