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5 Stretches To Combat Being Desk Bound

5 Stretches To Combat Being Desk Bound

So many of my clients present the same posture related pains and discomforts that arise from being desk bound for the best part of the day. These simple exercises will show you how to combat these problems without even having to get in to your gym gear.

Don’t worry about the stares you get from your colleagues, get them involved, teach them, and quickly turn it into an office activity.

  1. Neck Stretch:

    Why is it important?:

    When sitting for long periods our neck takes a lot of strain. Our heads tend to poke forwards when working on computers or looking at screens, creating more strain on the neck

    How to:

    Sit towards the edge of your chair and sit tall.

    Hold the underside of the seat by your side and pull your arms straight, drawing your shoulders back and chest lifted.

    Lengthen the back of the neck, then gently tilt to one side. Hold for 30s.

    Then from this tilted position rotate the head down so that your chin draws towards the end of your collar bone. Hold for 30s

2. Side stretch

Why is it important?:

When sitting for long periods, especially when working on a computer/laptop, we tend to slouch to one side.

How to:

Turn sideways on your chair and sit tall, chest up shoulders back.

Reach with your outside arm across your body to hold the back of the chair.

With the inside arm, reach up and then slightly over to lengthen through the side of your body.

Keep sitting bones planted on the seat. Hold for 30 seconds then change sides.

3. Hip Flexor Stretch

Why is it important?

Sitting for long periods causes the muscles at the front of your hips and legs to shorten and increase tightness over time, eventually causing your pelvis to tilt forwards, creating lower back ache and pain.

How to:

Half kneel with a chair behind you

Bring your back foot on top of the chair seat. (the close you are to the chair, the deeper the stretch)

Kneel tall, squeeze your gluteal muscles and tuck your tail bone under creating a stretch at the front your hips

Reach up with the same arm as your back leg to increase the stretch through the front of the hips.

Shift hips forwards if needed to increase stretch, but make sure pelvis remains tucked under with gluteal muscles squeezed. Hold for 30s then repeat on the other side.

4. W to Ys

Why is it important?

We need to increase strength in our posture muscles as well as stretch out the areas that are short and tight.

How to:

Find a flat wall and stand with your feet about a foot away from the wall but with your back right up against it.

Take your arms up to make a letter ‘W’ as shown, with elbows at shoulder height.

Pull your abdominal muscles in so that your back remains against the wall throughout the entire movement.

Slide your arms up and out to create a letter ‘Y’, as shown. Remember to try to keep back and arms as close to the wall as possible.

Then draw your elbows back down the wall to the initial letter ‘W’ position. Repeat 10 times.

Main focus should be on the movement of the shoulder blades as you slide up and down

5. Chest opener

Why is it important?

When working at a desk you will tend to be hunched forwards, rounded in your upper back, rounded in your shoulders and chest closed off. We want to open this position back out.

How to:

Find a corner of your room

Take your arms out to the side so that your elbows are at shoulder height and you make a letter ‘W’ with your arms and head, as shown.

Then walk forwards towards the corner until your arms are hitting the walls on either side and it creates an uncomfortable stretch. Gently apply a little bit of pressure against the wall with your hands and forearms for 10 seconds, then relax into the stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat this on/off pressure three times.

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