You've probably heard how bad it is for you to be sitting at your desk, in front of a computer all day. And chances are if you have been hunched over at your desk day in, day out you are feeling those pains through your neck, upper back, shoulders, etc.
Eight hours of sitting (5 days a week) can really take it's toll on the body, believe it or not, so I've gathered up some easy peasy DESKercises (see what I did there) that you can do right at your desk to help get those muscles loosey goosey all through your work week. You're welcome.
Each stretch (both sides) should be held for no less than 30 seconds to 1 minute. This is a good rule of thumb for all stretches. If you're not holding even for 30 seconds you may as well not bother stretching at all. Muscles have memory, and you want them to remember this new resting length you're taking them to.
Desk Stretch 1
Gently pull each elbow to the opposite side overhead. Hold each position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If anyone looks at you funny just keep making intense eye contact with them until they look away first. In any office setting it's better to assert your dominance than shy away.
Desk Stretch 2
Remaining seated, extend your legs and reach toward your toes. Stare at the office floor and search for lost pens, paper clips or bits of food for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Desk Stretch 3
Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest. If you're not able to get your knee up to your chest, go to the position that feels comfortable to you. Hold underneath your thigh to help the stretch along.
Desk Stretch 4
Clasp your hands in front of you and lower your head in line with your arms. Pretend you know how to dive correctly, by showing this proper technique you will no doubt thoroughly impress your office mates.
Desk Stretch 5
Extend each arm overhead and to the opposite side as you imagine you're an overly eager aerobics instructor during each move. This won't add anything to the stretch but will help run the clock down on that 30 seconds - 1 minute countdown.
Desk Stretch 6
At this point your boss or office supervisor will no doubt approach you and ask you how long you've been stretching. Take this opportunity to answer with a stretch cleverly disguised as a shrug. Raise both shoulders at once up toward the ears. Drop them and repeat.
Desk Stretch 7
Clasp hands behind your back, push your chest outward, and raise your chin. If you have fluorescent bulbs staring back at you close your eyes and pretend you have non fluorescent bulbs.
Desk Stretch 8
Cross your legs and twist toward the back of the chair. Hold for 30 seconds - 1 minute then switch sides. Use the rear-facing position to have a rant with your co-worker about how messy the microwave is and how it wouldn't be like that it people cleaned up after themselves or covered their containers.
*Pro tip: exhale as you go into the turn for a greater range of motion for this stretch.
Desk Stretch 9
Gently pull your head toward each shoulder. Keep your head and neck straight, just dip your ear towards the top of your shoulder, like how a dog tilts his head while he try to figure out what the heck you're talking about.
*Pro tip: Don't take this stretch further than comfortable. every stretch should feel good, if it feels sore or like you're ready to pull something DON'T STRETCH SO FAR. Back off, and only stretch to where it feels good.
Desk Stretch 10
Clasp hands together above the head, stretching upward. Follow up with a big clap like you're singing along to Queen's Radio Gaga, or something to that effect...