Deskercise – 9 Simple Desk Stretches To Improve Posture

Whether you’re studying for exams or working in an office, sitting at a desk for hours on end can negatively affect your posture and shorten your muscles, making it more difficult to perform everyday tasks.

The habits we build while sitting at our desk can directly contribute to discomfort and health issues, including – Neck and shoulder pain, obesity, stress, lower back pain, carpal tunnel, and musculoskeletal disorders.

The good news is that stretching and moving are both buildable habits. For example, you could set a timer that reminds you to take a quick break in order to walk or stretch, and if you’re pressed for time there are even some stretches you can do at your desk.

If you want to learn some desk exercises, or as I like to call them, deskercises, then keep on reading below!

Desk Tricep Stretch

The tricep stretch can improve flexibility, increase range of motion and lengthen muscles. On top of that, it can also prevent tight muscles, boost circulation and loosen connective tissue, all while sitting comfortably at your desk.

How To:

  1. Lift your arm and bend it so that your hand reaches toward the opposite side.
  2. Use your other hand to pull the elbow towards your head.
  3. Hold this stretch for 25-35 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Desk Overhead Reach / Latissimus Stretch

The latissimus dorsi muscles – also known as lats – are the large V-shaped muscles that connect your vertebral column to your arms. These muscles help to protect and stabalise your spine while also providing shoulder and back strength.

Your lat muscles also help with arm and shoulder movement and support good posture. By strengthening and stretching your lats you will be better able to build your upper-body strength, improve range of motion, and prevent injury.

How To:

  1. Stretch your left arm overhead with the other gripping the side of your chair.
  2. Reach to the ride side until you feel a nice stretch in your lats.
  3. Hold this for 25-35 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Upper Body & Arm Stretch

This lovely little stretch will target your shoulders and upper back. It will also stabilise and flex your shoulder joint, which will help to increase flexibility and range of motion.

This stretch will also help to combat slumping over a laptop or keyboard.

How To:

  1. Clasp your hands together over your head with the palms facing outwards.
  2. Push your arms up, stretching upwards.
  3. Hold this for 25-35 seconds.

Shoulder / Pectoralis Desk Stretch

The pectoral stretch is an important exercise to improve the flexibility of your chest muscles, mainly the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles. This stretch will help to improve mobility of the chest area while improving your posture.

How To:

  1. Clasp your hands behind your back.
  2. Push your chest outwards and raise your chin.
  3. Hold this stretch for 25-35 seconds.

Forward Desk Stretch

The forward desk stretch will help to improve flexibility, which will leave your muscles feeling less tense. This stretch can also leave you feeling refreshed, while increasing productivity and improving posture which will help to reduce back pain.

How To:

  1. Begin by clasping your hands in front of you and lowering your head to be in line with your arms.
  2. Press forward and hold for 25-35 seconds.

Torso Desk Stretch / Trunk Rotation

This torso stretch will improve muscle strength along with improving digestion. This exercise can heal the pain related to the lower back.

While this pose is gentle on the lower back, it can help to go slow and steady with this stretch.

How To:

  1. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, facing forward.
  2. Slowly twist your upper body in one direction, placing your arm on the back of the chair for support.
  3. Hold this pose for 25-35 seconds.
  4. Exhale as you stretch for a better range of motion.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Hamstring Desk Stretch

The hamstring stretch can help to increase your flexibility and improve the range of motion in the hip. Both of these benefits can help you perform everyday tasks such as walking upstairs and bending over.

How To:

  1. While seated, extend one leg outwards.
  2. Slowly reach towards your toes.
  3. Hold this pose for 25-35 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Try to do this stretch one leg at a time as doing both legs at once can cause back issues.

Desk Shoulder Shrug

The shoulder shrug is a great exercise for reducing stress and tension while also improving circulation in the shoulder joint and muscles.

As the shoulders have such a wide range of movement, it is important to stretch them regularly to promote flexibility and reduce any signs of pain and fatigue.

How To:

  1. Raise both of your shoulders up towards the ears.
  2. Drop them slowly and repeat 10 times.

Desk Neck Stretch

The neck stretch can relax and stretch the neck muscles and the cervical spine. This exercise can also help to alleviate any discomfort or stiffness associated with neck strain while also helping to prevent future neck injuries and pain.

How To:

  1. Relax your muscles and lean your head forward.
  2. Slowly and carefully roll towards one side and hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Relax again and lift your chin back to the start position.
  5. Repeat 3 times in each direction.