5 Essential Desk Stretches to Combat Sitting All Day

woman doing desk stretch
woman doing desk stretch

Do you ever feel stiff and achy after sitting at your desk all day? You’re not alone! Prolonged sitting can wreak havoc on your body, causing everything from neck and shoulder pain to tight hamstrings and poor posture.

But with a few simple desk stretches, you can combat these negative effects and feel much better. In this blog, I’m going to share five essential stretches that are easy to do right at your desk. These stretches will help reduce pain, improve your posture, and keep you feeling more comfortable throughout the day.

Ready to start feeling better? Let’s dive in!

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1. Neck Stretch

Desk stretches neck stretch

(Image source: https://www.fleetfeet.com/blog/seated-chair-yoga-for-all-levels-and-abilities)

Have you noticed how sitting for long periods in front of a computer can make your neck feel stiff and sore? That’s because sitting often leads to poor posture, which puts extra strain on your neck muscles. Here’s a simple exercise you can do to combat that.


  • Sit up straight in your chair.
  • Slowly tilt your head towards your right shoulder until you feel a gentle stretch on the left side of your neck.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.

This simple stretch helps to relieve tension and improve neck mobility, making it easier to turn your head without discomfort.

2. Shoulder Stretch

a man with his arms behind his head

Desk work can make your shoulders tight and achy, especially if you’re hunched over a computer all day. So this shoulder stretch can help loosen things up!


  • Raise your right arm and bend it behind your head.
  • Use your left hand to gently push your right elbow down.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch arms.

3. Seated Spinal Twist

a woman sitting on a green chair

(Image source: https://www.deccanchronicle.com/sunday-chronicle/phyzzicality/290718/embrace-chair-yoga.html)

Twisting stretches are great for your spine, especially if you’ve been sitting in one position for too long. This twist helps relieve back tension and improves spinal mobility, making your back feel more comfortable and flexible.


  • Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your right hand on the back of your chair and twist your torso to the right.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.

4. Hamstring Stretch

a woman stretching her legs

(Image source: https://www.deccanchronicle.com/sunday-chronicle/phyzzicality/290718/embrace-chair-yoga.html)

Sitting all day can make your hamstrings tight, which can lead to lower back pain. Stretching your hamstrings can alleviate lower back pain and improve your overall flexibility. Here’s a stretch that can help.


  • Sit on the edge of your chair with one leg extended straight out in front of you.
  • Reach towards your toes while keeping your back straight.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch legs.

5. Chest Opener

Sitting hunched over can cause your chest to tighten and your posture to suffer. This stretch opens up your chest and counters the effects of slouching.


  • Sit up straight and clasp your hands behind your back.
  • Gently pull your hands down and away from your back, opening up your chest.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Sitting at your desk all day doesn’t have to leave you feeling stiff and achy. By incorporating these five essential desk stretches while you’re at your desk, you can combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting, reduce pain, and improve your posture.

Remember, consistency is key. Make these stretches a regular part of your workday, and you’ll start to see and feel the benefits!

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Andrew Vertson