Sitting at your desk for long periods of time can really take a toll on your body. Especially in this current era of flexible working, though we are grateful to be able to maintain a better work-life balance, we may not always have the most supportive desk setup. If you’re suffering from muscle discomfort and poor posture caused by sitting at your desk for hours at a time, incorporate these simple stretching exercises as part of your healthy morning routine to counteract all that sitting and help ease discomfort.
1. Stretches for your arms
Raise your arm and bend it so that your hand reaches near your shoulder blades. Use your other hand to gently pull the elbow towards your head. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.
Next, hold one arm across your body. Use your other arm to pull your elbow towards your chest to feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.
2. Stretches for your shoulders and chest
To help open the chest and shoulders, interlace the fingers together behind you. Lift your arms up gradually until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and release. This can be done sitting down or you may wish to stand in a straddled position and tip your arms over for a deeper stretch.
3. Stretches for your neck
If you find yourself leaning towards your computer screen or perhaps looking up at a second screen, release the tension your neck may be holding by gently tilting your head towards your shoulder, using your hand to guide you. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Be careful not to pull your head too intensely as you don’t want to strain your muscles.
4. Stretches for your torso
Help relieve tension across the entire torso with this spinal twisting stretch. Sitting on a chair, plant your feet firmly on the ground and face forward. Twist your upper body towards the right and place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. If you already feel a stretch, hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds. To deepen the stretch, place the right hand on the back of your chair. Release and repeat on the left side.
5. Stretches for your hips and glutes
Help relieve any leg discomfort. Make sure you are sat tall with your head in line with your spine. Cross your right leg over your left knee and begin to fold forward. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat on the other side.
6. Stretches for your hamstrings
Even if you’ve sat on a chair all day, you still need to stretch your legs, especially your hamstrings which are known for tightening quickly. Remaining seated, extend one leg outwards and reach for your toes. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, release and repeat on other side.
How to use essential oils to enhance your stretching routine
Not only do these daily stretches help ease the strain caused by sitting at your desk all day, it also offers a mindful activity to distract you from any work stress. Combining the powerful aromas of essential oils with your stretches helps elevate the experience, clear the mind, and encourage feelings of peace and calm.
Here at Young Living, we proudly offer a range of essential oil blends specially crafted to enliven the body and mind when you need a boost at work. For particularly busy days, breathe in our Grounding essential oil blend to experience a moment of calm. To create a focused environment, dab a few drops of our Brain Power essential oil blend onto your pulse points to reset your mood to one of focus and flow.
YL Tip: If you have any existing injuries or health conditions, make sure to consult a healthcare professional before attempting any of these exercises.
Other ways to take a break
- For every 30 minutes of work, get up from your seat and walk around for 20-30 seconds.
- Stand up when on audio-only calls to recalibrate your posture and get your body moving.
- If you have a bit of extra time, squeeze in a yoga flow to treat both your body and mind.
Like this blog and let us know in the comments how you like to get your body moving when sat at a desk all day.