Best Stretching Exercises for the Office

By Jean D , last updated December 9, 2011

If you feel stiff, sore and cranky at the end of the workday, this list of the best stretching exercises for the office may provide some relief. By sprinkling in a few stretching exercises throughout the day, you'll help lengthen and strengthen your muscles, and you'll purge your muscle fibers of pain-causing toxins. You won't need to bust out the yoga mat to bring yourself some relief, either, as these are quiet stretches designed to blend in with movements you probably do all day long.

Head and Neck

These stretches are designed to help loosen the muscles that keep your head upright. If you spend hours staring at a computer screen, you might find these stretches to be incredibly soothing. Begin by looking straight forward, with your chin pointed neither up nor down. As you breathe out, dip your chin to your chest. You should feel a pull down the back of your neck. Face forward once more, and dip your right ear down to your right shoulder. Don't pull your shoulder up to meet your ear. You should feel a pull on the left side of your neck. Repeat with your left ear and shoulder.

Arms and Wrists

Typing, drawing and writing can put a lot of pressure on your arms and wrists. To loosen up these hard-working muscles, extend your arms out straight in front of you and point your fingertips at the ceiling. Relax your fingers after a few moments of stretch, and then make fists and point your knuckles at the floor. When your wrists are limber, stretch your upper arms. Extend your right arm above your head and bend your elbow so your right hand is touching your back. Use your left hand to gently deepen the stretch in your right arm. Repeat on your left side.

Back

The best way to stretch your back is to simply get up and walk around from time to time. Visit your coworker with a question instead of sending an email message. Moving about is a quick and easy way to stretch. In addition, stand up straight and then bend at the waist to reach your toes. You'll stretch the back of your legs, of course, but you'll also relax your back muscles. To stretch your back in your chair, grasp your right armrest and pull your torso to the right while your hips point forward. Release and repeat on the left side.

Legs

To stretch out those sore leg muscles, keep your right foot flat on the floor beneath your desk and extend your left leg and point your left toes at your chest. You'll feel a deep stretch in your leg. Repeat with the right leg. Stretching the upper part of your leg requires a bit more bravery, as you'll have to stand to perform the stretch. While you're standing next to your desk for balance, bend your right knee and grasp your right foot with your right hand. You'll feel a deep stretch in the large muscles in the front of your leg. Repeat on the other side.

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