Stretching at your Desk or Computer
Here’s the top 5 stretching exercises while sitting at your desk, in front of a computer or at the office.
by Brad Walker | First Published May 15, 2006 | Updated September 11, 2017
Why is Stretching Important?
By placing particular parts of your body in certain positions, you’re able to increase the length of your muscles. As a result, a reduction in general muscle tension is achieved and your normal range of movement is increased.
The benefits of an extended range of movement includes: increased comfort; a greater ability to move freely; and a lessening of your susceptibility to muscle and tendon strain injuries.
Along with an extended range of movement, a regular stretching program will also help to improve posture; develop body awareness; improve co-ordination; promote circulation; increase energy; and improve relaxation and stress relief.
What else can you do?
Before we move onto the specific stretching exercises that will help you relieve pain and tension from sitting for long periods of time, let’s have a look at some other techniques you can use.
- Move around: Get up and move around at least every hour. This will help to promote circulation and get the blood flowing to the muscles that need it most.
- Drink plenty of water: Water is an important component of just about every function that takes place within your body. It helps your body eliminate toxins and waste products; it helps to maintain proper muscle tone; it cushions joints; and it helps transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
- Deep breathing: Many people unconsciously hold their breath, which causes tension in our muscles. To avoid this, remember to breathe slowly and deeply throughout the day. This helps to relax our muscles, promotes blood flow and increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to our muscles.
How to Stretch?
To follow are a few rules and guidelines to help you get the most from your stretching and ensure you stay safe and injury free. If you’re interested in a more detailed report, click on the following for an in-depth article on the rules for safe stretching.
- Firstly, make a general review of the area to be stretched. If the muscle group being stretched isn’t 100% healthy avoid stretching this area altogether. For example, if you have a neck injury, don’t do neck stretches.
- Secondly, do all your stretches gently and slowly, and avoid bouncing or any jerky movements. This will help to reduce muscle tears and strains that can be caused by rapid, jerky movements.
- And lastly, stretch ONLY to the point of tension. Stretching is not an activity that was meant to be painful; it should be pleasurable, relaxing and very beneficial. Although many people believe that to get the most from their stretching they need to be in constant pain. This is one of the greatest mistakes you can make when stretching.
What to Stretch?
Below are a few stretches that can be performed in a seated or standing position, which will help to relieve tension around your shoulders, neck and upper back. The following stretches should be held for at least 20 to 30 seconds and then repeated 2 to 4 times.
While the recommendations on this page are a good starting point, you'll get a lot more benefit when you add the right stretches to your training program. With the Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility (Handbook, DVD & CD-ROM) you'll...
You'll get 135 clear photographs and 44 video demonstrations of unique stretches for every major muscle groups in your body. Plus, the DVD includes 3 customized sets of stretches (8 minutes each) for the Upper Body; the Lower Body; and the Neck, Back & Core. And the Handbook will show you, step-by-step, how to perform each stretch correctly and safely. Plus, you'll also learn the 7 critical rules for safe stretching; the benefits of flexibility; and how to stretch properly.
If you want to improve your flexibility so you can to train harder, race faster, recover quicker and move better, check out the Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility for yourself.
About the Author: Brad Walker is often referred to as the "Stretch Coach" and has even been called the Stretching Guru. Magazines such as Runners World, Bicycling, Triathlete, Swimming & Fitness, and Triathlon Sports have all featured his work. Amazon (author page) has listed his books on five Best-Seller lists. Google cites over 100,000 references to him and his work on the internet. And satisfied customers from 122 countries have sent 1,000's of verified customer reviews. If you want to know about stretching, flexibility or sports injury management, Brad Walker is the go-to-guy.
Disclaimer: The health and fitness information presented on this website is intended as an educational resource and is not intended as a substitute for proper medical advice. Please consult your physician or physical therapist before performing any of the exercises described on this website, particularly if you are pregnant, elderly or have any chronic or recurring muscle or joint pain.