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The 3 Best Stretches to Do if You Work a Desk Job | Kalani Total Health Center

Woman stretching outside

Try These Stretching Exercises for Hip Pain, Low Back Pain, and Neck Pain

Achy neck, tight hips, sore back… Sound familiar? If you work a desk job, you’re probably all too familiar with the types of pain that affect more than 200 million workers nationwide.

Sitting time has been recognized as one of the most significant indicators of health status in Americans. Scientific research has linked sitting with an increased risk of a number of health complications, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and even premature death.

While those health risks are commonly talked about, there’s another set of conditions that get less attention: bone, joint and muscle problems. When you sit for prolonged periods of time day after day, you hinder your body’s ability to move. Sitting – especially at a desk or in a car – places your body in restricted and sometimes unnatural positions.

Sitting for long periods of time can weaken and tighten the gluteal, quadricep and hamstring muscles, all of which are responsible for effective motion and stabilization of your body. Your hip flexors and back muscles will also lose function if you sit too much.

It’s more than the muscles, though: Sitting also puts your spine in unnatural positions. The majority of people who sit for a living have altered posture in one way or another. This loss of function and reduced mobility is what causes the pain you feel day-to-day, especially in your neck, back and hips.

These three stretches can help relieve discomfort in those areas and make you feel more mobile. We suggest doing these exercises at least twice a day (when you wake up and before bed) for the best results.


Elbow to Instep

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take one big step forward so you are in a staggered stance. Lower down into a lunge; rest your back knee on the floor if you can. Stay in this position for 10-30 seconds. Then, lower your torso down toward the floor, placing your hand near the arch of your foot. Try to place your elbow on the floor and hold the position for an additional 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.


Chin Tuck and Turn

Tuck your chin down toward your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Keeping your chin pointed downward, twist your neck to the right; back to the center; and to the left. Hold each position for 20-30 seconds.


Spinal Twist and Toe Touch

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart or touching. Bend down as far as you can without curving your spine. If you can reach your toes, great! If not, aim for your ankles, shins, or knees. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Then, keep your back flat and twist up to the right as far as you can. Reach your hand to the sky and look up at the ceiling. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the left side.

We hope these stretches for desk workers help you ease pain and improve your mobility. For more healthy living tips and tricks, sign up to receive exclusive wellness content from the pros at Kalani Total Health Center.

Amanda Capritto

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