Stretching Exercise for Workplace – Office Stretches or Desk Stretches to Try

Last Updated on December 15th, 2021

Are you Doing any Stretching Exercise at your workplace? Do you know about desk stretches or office stretches that can make a lot of difference in your health and fitness?

Present day technology has bestowed numerous benefits and conveniences on us, but with one major hold-up: our fondness for prolonged sitting. Most of us sit for more than ten hours a day, seven days a week. Experts are now convinced that sitting for long stretches can affect our health in the long run and have linked too much sitting to several ailments such as putting on extra kilos, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions.

desk stretches to do for neck pain
desk stretches to do for neck pain

According to recent studies, sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for many disorders, including metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and mental health diseases. It can increase your risk of heart diseases by 18%, back problems by 15%, weak eyesight by 14% and overall weakness by 12%. Employers can either let this information scare them or make some simple changes and find ways to incorporate health and fitness into everyday work life.

So, is sitting all day in office really that bad for your wellness? This is one of the moot questions for the average person working nine to five, five or six days a week. Due to our slack and sedentary lifestyles, making place for some exercises into daily routine is critical to improving our overall well-being. Do you know there are stretching exercises you can incorporate and do seamlessly at your desk? They are also called as desk stretches or office stretches. If you’re really serious about improving your health and fitness, there are a few ideas you can begin with, such as:

  • Making phone calls while walking
  • Skipping the lift and using the stairs instead
  • Using the bathroom on the floor above or below yours
  • Replacing your desk water bottle with a glass and going to fill it more often
  • Strengthening and relaxing your arms next to the tea/coffee maker
  • Going to the cafeteria for lunch instead of sitting and having it at your desk


Don’t have time for Gym?

Try these 15 to 16 Simple Stretching Exercise for Workplace

If you’ve taken the plunge, let us assure you that taking better care of your health and wellness on the job doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort on your part. To help you get started, we have put together this list of 15 simple yet effective desk-friendly stretching exercises or we should say it desk stretches, that will counter the effects of sitting all day. The more you remain active, the better you’ll feel — it can’t get easier than that.


  1. Back Twist – Stretching Exercise

back twist stretching exercise
back twist stretching exercise

Keeping your back functional and moving helps keep it healthy. Try doing this simple exercise while seated and relieve tension in your back.

To begin with, sit back straight in your chair and put your right arm behind your right hip.

Now gently twist to your right and try to look back and stretch your neck as much as you can.

Hold on for 10 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

Do this 4-5 times in both the direction. 

The most common stretching exercises for workplace.

This is one of the most easy desk stretches you can do anytime and anywhere while seating on your seat. Try to keep you back straight while working. Learn about how to setup your chair in front of your computer system for best posture to avoid back and neck pain. There is a complete guide and principles for workplace Ergonomics that you should be knowing. These Ergonomics are meant to help you stay fit while working long hours in front of computer screen.

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  1. Calf Raises

calf raise desk workout
calf raise desk workout

Here are the simple steps for this office stretches.

Stand up straight behind your chair and hold on to the chair or your desk for support.

Now elevate your heels such that they are raised off the floor and you are standing completely on your toes. Slowly bring yourself back to the floor.

Performing this stretching exercises for workplace three-four sets of 10 will help to strengthen your calf and thigh muscles.


  1. Lower-Abs Lifts

lower abs lift stretching at your desk in office
lower abs lift stretching at your desk in office

This is a super subtle move (office stretches) you can do anytime, without letting others even know that you’re getting a stretching exercises for workplace.

Simply, sit straight up, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Lift your right leg up at a 90-degree angle, keeping core tight.

After doing 7-8 reps, switch to the left side. And then try lifting both up at the same time.

You can replace this by extending your right leg forward in front of you until it’s straight and parallel to the ground.

Hold the pose for 10 seconds, release, and repeat with your left leg. You can make these office stretches more challenging by positioning both your hands parallel to the floor, in a straight-back position.


  1. Overhead Stretching Exercise

This is a natural stretch that we all do when are bodies are feeling a bit stiff and tired.

overhead office desk stretching
overhead office desk stretching

Simply raise your arms above your head, interlock your fingers with the palms facing upwards and push away from yourself, as far as you can. Gradually release your arms and then repeat. Feeling better now?


  1. Neck Rolls – Stretching Exercise

office stretches for healthy body
office stretches for healthy body

Relax and turn your head to the left and try and look over your shoulder and hold for a few seconds.

Repeat the same on the right.

Next, lean your head forward and drop your chin down towards your chest.

Slowly, roll your head in the clockwise direction for 10 seconds.

Now reverse and do the circular rotation on the other side.

Aim to do 3-4 times on each side. For occasions, when you’re unable to get away from your desk, doing neck rolls could be a good alternative as stretching exercises for workplace. Neck rolls and overhead stretch are common desk stretches that everyone does in office.


  1. Wrist Flexion – Office Stretches

wrist flexion stretching for hands
wrist flexion stretching for hands

This one should be easy. Be seated on your chair, and extend your right arm in front of you, with palm facing down and fingers pointing toward the ground.

With your left hand, gently pull the fingers on your right hand toward your body.

Switch sides and repeat 8-10 times.

Alternatively, you can press your palms together in front of your chest in a ‘Namaste’ pose and hold for 15 seconds.

Next, push the backs of your hands against each other for a reverse stretch and hold for another 15 seconds.


  1. Shoulder Stretch & Roll

shoulder stretching in office
shoulder stretching in office

Clasp your hands together above the head with palms facing up toward ceiling. Push your arms up as much as you can, stretching upward.

Hold for a few deep breaths.

Now, raise both shoulders up toward ears, hold for 10 seconds, and then slowly roll them backward.

Another way is :- 

  • Stretch straight the right arm in outward direction. 
  • Bring the right arm across the body, so that the hand points to the floor on the other side of the left leg.
  • Bend the left arm at the elbow.
  • Hook the left forearm under the right arm, supporting the right arm above the elbow.
  • Use the left forearm to pull the right arm further in and across the body, stretching the back of the right shoulder.
  • Hold this for 20 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other side.
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This is a great way to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.


  1. Chest Stretching Exercise

chest stretching exercise for office
chest stretching exercise for office

Clasp your hands together behind lower back, with your palms facing outwards.

Push your chest outward and raise chin slightly.

Sit up tall, and feel the stretch in your upper body.

Hold on for a few deep breaths, and then gradually release.

Don’t be surprised if your colleagues next to you want to join in too with this stretching exercises for workplace. These are some super good desk stretches that can help you to deal with lots of stress and work pressure.


  1. Wrists and Fingers Stretching Exercise

Office jobs mostly involve employees in a lot of little things, like typing, calling and texting. And hence hand and wrist stretch such as these become meaningful in your overall wellness program! So lets add these to our list of desk stretches. Now let us show you how to do it.

Wrists and Fingers Stretching Exercise
Wrists and Fingers Stretching Exercise

While standing, hold both your hands straight in front of you on your desk, palms faced down and fingertips facing your body. To intensify the stretching exercise, hold it until you feel the tension loosen. Repeat for 5-6 minutes.


  1. Lunges – Office Stretches

lunges in office stretching
lunges in office stretching

Start by placing equal weight on both your feet.

Start with placing your right leg back until heel is flat on floor; then lift up on ball of right foot.

Make sure your back is straight and head is raised.

Gradually lower down until you feel a stretch in right hip. Hold for a minute, and release.

Now switch sides and repeat this stretching exercises for workplace.


  1. Hamstring Stretching Exercise

Hamstring Stretching Exercise for office
Hamstring Stretching Exercise for office

Standing with both your feet together, place right heel on floor and flex right foot towards you.

As you do this, slowly lean forward from hips (You can prefer to keep your hands on your hips) until you feel a stretch in the back of right leg.

Hold for a minute and release.

Switch sides.


  1. Eagle Arm Twist

eagle arm twist stretching
eagle arm twist stretching

Stay seated comfortably on your chair and extend your arms in front of you at shoulder level.

Now, cross your right arm over your left, raise your forearms while twisting your palms inwards.

Hold on for some time, and then repeat with your left arm over your right.


  1. Seated Hip Stretching Exercise

seated hip stretching in office
seated hip stretching in office

Try to be seated towards the middle of your chair with your feet flat on the floor.

Place your right ankle on the left knee and sit tall.

Maintaining a straight back, tilt forward towards your waist until you feel the stretch on your back.

Now repeat with the other leg.


  1. Spinal Twist – Office Stretches

spinal twist stretching for back pain
spinal twist stretching for back pain

Keeping seated with your knees in line with one another flat on the floor, place your right hand on your left knee and twist your entire upper body to the left, looking behind your shoulder.

You can place your hands on the chair handle to help deepen the stretching exercise.

Take a few deep breaths, and then twist back and repeat on the other side.

Hold on for 20-30 seconds and as far as you comfortably can.

This keeps your spine flexible and is beneficial to your lower back and is also an easy stretching exercises for workplace


  1. Inner Thigh Stretching Exercise

inner thighs stretching exercise
inner thighs stretching exercise

This stretch works wonders for your inner thighs and hips. It helps open the hips and get rid of tightness and tension prevalent in the lower body.

While you are seated, take the right wide, toes out and lean forward with your elbows placed gently on the thighs.

Make sure your back is straight and the abs contracted.

Now gently press forward with your elbows to push the thighs out until you feel a stretch in the inner thighs.

Hold for a 10-15 seconds and repeat several times. This is very trusted among stretching exercises for workplace.

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  1. Hip-Flexor Stretching Exercise

Your hip flexors are one of the core muscles groups you should stretch at work, as these tend to get quite tight and tense while you’re sitting at your desk all day, contributing to lower-back pain. Try these office stretches.

To begin with, place one foot on top of the chair, shift slightly forward onto your standing leg, bringing your back hip forward as well.

Hip-Flexor Stretching office exercise
Hip-Flexor Stretching office exercise

You will feel a nice stretch on your hip flexor of that back leg.

Make sure your lower back is straight throughout; if not activate your core by pulling your torso back towards your spine.

Remain in this pose for 10-15 seconds and then switch sides and repeat.


Benefits of these Office Desk Stretches

So, going forward, if you feel like your rear might actually be stuck to your desk chair, try a few or all of these moves above desk stretches. Pair them with a few of the Workplace Stretching flexibility exercises, which stretch out your muscles and simply make you feel really amazing. From keeping your weight under control and combating health conditions, to boosting energy and improving mood, the benefits are endless. Enjoy more energy and good mood after doing these stretching exercises for workplace.

stretching exercise for a healthy office place
stretching exercise for a healthy office place

Building and spearheading a successful company means cultivating a high-performing team that can think clearly, communicate effectively and be productive, day after day. And to achieve that, wellness is an imperative. As a leader, it’s up to you to be the best example.

If you’re an employer, encourage your team members to take care of themselves, talk about your own wellness regimen and make it easy for your employees to bring the wellness habits they practice at home to their office digs. Invite your team to do seventh-inning stretching exercise together at a certain hour of the day. Harness the best version of your employees. Let them join their colleagues and reach their personal goals together. Make wellness and health a part of your culture.

You may realize it or not, but physical activity can work wonders for your minds and bodies. Anytime you find yourself sitting for more than 2 hours glued to your screen, get down to doing one or more of these desk stretches or you may say office stretches, to help improve your energy posture and flexibility. All you need is a chair! If you work in an office setting and sit for majority of the day, then implementing workplace wellness solutions related to exercise is critical. We wish you the best of luck with stretching exercises for workplace


Stay Healthy Stay Fit, Even at Work

Aayushi Kasliwal
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