Stretching and gentle movement is a great way to support a healthy, happy spine – even while you’re sitting – so we asked our in-house yoga teacher/marketing specialist Donna for her favourite desk stretches to relieve shoulder, neck and back stiffness.
Aim to complete them at least three times a day to relieve stress and tension in body and mind.
Wrist circles – 20 seconds
How to do it: Gently circle your wrists for ten seconds one way, then 10 seconds the opposite way.
Wrist stretch – 20 seconds
Repetitive typing builds up tension in our fingers and wrists and this can be the first place you get fatigued. This wrist stretch can help release the tension.
How to do it: Turn your hands so they face away from you and rest your fingers on the edge of your desk. Push your wrists forward until you feel a stretch up through the palm and into the wrist.
Seated cat/cow – 20 seconds
This great exercise will help get the spine mobile, get the blood pumping and move energy though-out the entire body.
How to do it: Sitting on your chair, place your feet flat against the floor with an upright spine and your hands resting by your knees on the chair. Begin to round your back forward, stretching into the muscles across the back. Then, begin to arch your back forward, pushing your hands into the front of the chair and opening out through the chest. Repeat 10 times.
Chair pigeon pose – 40 seconds
This pose is an amazing way to help counteract any imbalances in the hips and lower spine and stretch your glutes. It’s perfect if you are always crossing your legs to one side.
How to do it: Sitting on your chair, cross your right ankle over the left knee to form a right angle. Lengthen your spine to feel the stretch into your glutes. If you can, tilt your hips and lean forward slightly to deepen the stretch. Hold for 20 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Seated chair twist – 1 minute
This pose will help wring out the spine, from the lumber spine all the way up to the neck. It also helps twist out the internal organs to help your digestion flow.
How to do it: Sitting on your chair, place your feel flat against the floor with an upright spine. Twist your body to the right, tucking your right hand over the back of the chair (this will depend how high your chair back is) and your left hand on the arm of the chair. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Seated forward fold
This will help to lengthen out the whole back chain of the spine and release lower back tension.
How to do it: Seated as usual, fold your body over your knees, dropping your head down. You have the option to hold hands clasped behind your back, which makes this post a great chest opener especially if you roll your shouldering forward while typing.
Seated restorative pose
It’s time to unwind, release tension, restore your mind and ground yourself. This pose will prepare you to tackle your next task.
How to do it: Cross your arms in front of you at your desk and lay your head on your arms. Close your eyes and take 10 long deep belly breaths.