My Favorite Desk Stretches

June 20, 2021

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Staying Flexible Throughout the Day  

Although there are many ways to combat some of the physical fatigue we are all feeling at the end of the day from working at home; I think we can all agree that the best way to refresh and recharge without breaking a sweat is doing some light stretches at your desk. Sure, getting up to walk up and down the stairs a few times here and there or going outside to get some fresh air are both super important; but it’s hard to do these things when you already have a long to-do list or when the weather isn’t cooperating.  

Today, I am going to be sharing some of my favorite stretches that I do a few times a day to recharge when I am doing school work and working from home!  

  1. Toe touches: No, I don’t mean those crazy moves that cheerleaders do in competitions. This is one where you stand tall with your shoulders back, inhale deeply, and exhale slowly as you walk your hands down to your shins and ankles. You should feel a light stretch in your hamstrings and low back. Hold this for 20-30 seconds. I try to do this one at least once per hour while I’m sitting for long periods of time because it gets blood flowing and prevents me from getting a stiff back at the end of the day.  

  1. Shoulder circles: To target stiffness in your neck and shoulders, try rolling your shoulders backwards in mini circles for 10-20 seconds, then roll your shoulders forwards for 10-20 seconds. This one is especially easy to do a few times an hour or whenever you feel stressed because it doesn’t require getting up from your desk.  

  1. Torso twists: This one is good to relieve tension in your mid and upper back. Start by standing tall with your shoulders back. Raise your arms up at your sides so your hands are parallel with the floor. Gently twist to the right without moving your legs or hips, you should feel a stretch in your mid back. Then gently twist to the left. Do this for 5-10 seconds per side until you start to feel some relief.  

  1. Hands-over-head: This one is by far my absolute favorite! Start by clasping your hands together so your fingers are interlocked. Inhale deeply and raise your hands and arms straight up in the air over your head. Once your arms are fully extended and you have reached the top of your breath, hold this position for 3-5 seconds. After holding, slowly exhale and bring your arms down. I like to think of this one as hitting the reset button. It is a great way to relieve some stress and tension that you might not realize that you are holding onto.  

There are tons of other small stretches that you can do, but these ones are my favorite and have helped tremendously while I have been working and learning from home. Let us know what your favorite desk stretches are at Healthy.UNH@unh.edu!  

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