A new study about the health effects of sitting is published almost on a daily basis. With all of this information, it’s no wonder why we’re all making the switch to standing desks. But standing all day isn’t ideal either, and can cause tired feet and shaky legs.
To follow up with last week’s post about yoga poses that lessen the effects of a desk job, we’ve gathered a list of simple office stretches you can perform sitting or standing behind your adjustable height desk. The key to getting the most out of your standing desk is making those small adjustments throughout the workday. And these stretches are geared toward helping you stand and move most of the day.
1. Neck Stretches
This is the most basic stretch, and can be performed while sitting or standing. For this office stretch, let the chin drop down to your chest, and then start to move the neck slowly back and forth. Stretch from the right ear to the right shoulder, backwards and then the left ear to left shoulder. Don’t forget to keep your shoulders relaxed and loose to prevent strain. When you’ve finished, shake out your shoulders a few times.
2. Shoulder Stretches
Moving away from your neck, these shoulder office stretches are quick and easy to do when you start to feel your shoulders tighten. First, with your desk adjusted to the standing position, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your shoulders relaxed. Then place one hand under your elbow and lift it across your chest. You should feel the upper back shoulder start to stretch. Stand still and hold for 30 seconds, then repeat the other side.
3. Wrist Rolls
It’s important to adjust your keyboard tray so your arms can rest at a 90 degree angle. This position is ideal for preventing strain and discomfort after typing all day, but as added protection, wrist office stretches should keep wrist pain completely at bay.
First, lower your desk so it’s level with your stomach. Stand up and place your wrists facing your computer with your fingers at the edge of the desk. Then lean into your wrists and flatten your palms. Hold for a few seconds and repeat. Another exercise is simply rolling your wrists several times throughout the day. This is a great stretch for office workers who spend the majority of the day typing.
4. Leg Stretches
Once you start standing most of the day, you’ll begin to notice your legs and feet start to strain. Instead of taking a seat, leg stretches are a great way to loosen those muscles and build resistance.
To stretch out your thighs, stand behind your standing desk and hold on lightly for balance. With one hand on your desk, use the other hand to grab one of your ankles and pull your leg behind you and up toward the ceiling. Stand upright and keep your knees parallel and hold for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat with the other side.
5. Back Stretches
Back pain is a huge complaint among office workers who sit all day, but this basic stretch is easy enough to perform in your chair.
With your desk adjusted to a comfortable seated position and you’re seated in a chair, place your hands on the edge of the desk and slowly push the chair back until your head is between your extended arms. Hold for several seconds and slowly pull yourself upright. Repeat five times.
These office stretches are only the beginning to stretching and moving throughout the workday. To learn more about how to switch to a standing desk, click HERE.