Stretches and Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk

It's Mini-Break Time

1
Counteract Computer Posture with a Back Stretch

Overhead stretch
Mini-Break Time Overhead stretch. Zero Creatives/Cultura/Getty Images

Ergonomic experts recommend that those of us working at our desk for long periods of time be sure to take mini-breaks to save our hands and back. This Gallery offers illustrations of several effective stretch and strengthening exercises that are easy to do while at the computer. If you would like to see written instructions for any of the pictures in the Gallery (highly recommended), just click on the picture, then click on one of the links in the text below the image.

Experts recommend that those of us working at our desk for long periods of time be sure to take mini-breaks to save our hands and back.

It's easy to find yourself hunched over your computer, isn't it? Back extension is the opposite movement of the computer hunched position.

The Back Extension Stretch Break exercise is taken from the yoga sun salutation and recommended by the American Physical Therapy Association. I have added some suggestions for working effectively, and a sitting version for those tied to their desks. Try the Back Extension Stretch Break exercise now.

2
Lower Back Stretch to Do In Your Chair

Low back desk stretch
Mini-Break Low back desk stretch. Denis Felix/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Are you at your desk right now? If so, you may wish to try this simple stretch.

This back stretch is recommended by the American Physical Therapy Association and targets the muscles of the seat, low back and shoulders. In my opinion, it targets the abs, too! In the written instructions, I have included some posture and alignment hints for more effectiveness. Try the back stretch now.

3
Corner Stretch at the Wall

A line drawing of a man stretching at a corner, plus text tips.
Mini-Break Time Stretching exercises for the upper body should include one for the pec minor.

The pec stretch will work the upper back muscles.

Experts recommend that those of us working at our desk for long periods of time be sure to take mini-breaks to save our hands and back. The pec stretch is recommended by the American Physical Therapy Association. Pec stretches target the muscles of the chest and will work your upper back muscles in the process. They will also as target the ones underneath the shoulder blade. Corner stretches make a good movement to counter postural problems such as kyphosis.

For written instructions on how to do the corner stretch will go over posture and form points, breathing and when not to do the exercise.

4
Wall Squats

Wall squat exercise depicted with muscles
Mini-Break Time Wall squat exercise depicted with muscles. Angela Coppola/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Wall squats can easily be done as a work break -- all you need is a wall (and good knees). Wall squats strengthen the muscles of the seat.

Experts recommend that those of us working at our desk for long periods of time be sure to take mini-breaks to save our hands and back. The wall squat is recommended by the American Physical Therapy Association. Wall squats target the muscles of the hips, back, abddomen and quadriceps. They're great for sitting posture!

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