Whether you’re continuing to work from home or have started to venture back into the office, there is one thing that remains consistent: spending up to eight hours (if not more) sitting at a desk!
With commuting time added in, plus day-to-day responsibilities and squeezing in a social life, it can be hard to find time to exercise.
It’s important to look after your physical and mental health, especially when navigating the routine and stresses of everyday life. Staying active with regular exercise can help to reduce stress levels and can be beneficial for looking after your mind.
For those sitting at a desk all day, remember to take breaks away from the screen to stretch your legs, neck, shoulders, and back. To help get you started, we’ve put together some simple desk exercises that you can try to help keep you active while you’re working.
7 Stretches to Do at Your Desk
Get your body moving with these simple desk exercises.
1. Seated Spinal Rotation
While seated, cross your arms over your chest and hold onto your shoulders. Sitting tall, rotate your upper body from the waist, turning gently from left to right. Go as far as you feel comfortable to, feeling a good stretch in both sides of your lower back.
2. Seated Leg Extensions
This is another great desk exercise to do at home and in the office. Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor. Starting with your right leg, extend your leg up and out until it’s parallel to the ground. Hold for a few seconds before returning to a normal seated position, then repeat with your left leg. Keep alternating to feel the stretch in your upper thighs.
3. Seated Shoulder Shrug & Roll
If you often find yourself hunched over your computer, this desk stretch is perfect for you. Simply sit up straight and lift your shoulders up towards your ears, squeezing tightly. Hold for a few seconds before rolling your shoulders back as you bring them back down to a relaxed position. Repeat the move and alternate by rolling your shoulders forward too.
4. Seated Shoulder Stretch
This desk stretch is really simple and may be something you already do without thinking! Interlock your fingers and stretch your arms out straight in front of you with your palms facing outwards. Raise both arms above your head, still holding your hands together with your arms straight. Keep your palms facing upwards and gently push backwards to feel an even deeper stretch.
5. Seated Triceps Stretch
The triceps stretch is a common move to do after any form of exercise, but it can also be a beneficial exercise to do while sitting at your desk. Reach your right arm behind your head and try to touch your opposite shoulder. Using your other hand, gently pull your elbow towards your head to feel the stretch in your triceps. Take a few deep breaths while in this position before switching to the other side.
6. Arm Circles
You can do this desk exercise seated or standing. Extend both arms out to your sides, ensuring they are in line with your shoulders. Keeping your arms straight, start drawing small circles in a backwards motion. Draw 15-20 circles before changing direction.
7. Chair Squats
An office chair is a great guide for you to practice your squatting form! More suited for home working, try adding in these chair squats while at your desk to stretch your legs and glutes. Stand up straight in front of your chair and make the motion you would do as if you are about to sit down. Before you hit the chair, stop and stand back up to complete your squat. Try to complete ten squats.
Support Your Bone, Joint and Muscle Health
Adding in a few of these exercises while sitting at your desk can really make a difference to your physical health. To further support your bone, joint and muscle health, you may wish to consider taking supplements designed to target these specific areas.
Look after your muscle, joint and bone health with our wide range of vitamin D supplements, calcium supplements and collagen peptides at Garden of Life. Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and calcium helps to maintain bone strength, while collagen peptides can support your joints and mobility.