Sitting or standing in the same position for hours continuously can lead to serious health concerns. Unfortunately, many jobs demand that we sit at a desk all day staring at a screen. Sedentary behavior increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease and many other problems. Fitness experts recommend stretches that you can do at your desk to reduce the risk of health concerns. Standing desk stretches can help maintain good posture, relieve joint and back stiffness, and rejuvenate the mind and body.
- Standing Pigeon Pose: One of the best hip opening exercises, the standing pigeon pose releases tension in this area of your body. Stand in front of your desk and keep your feet little apart. Bend your right knee and lay it on the desk while keeping your hands on the hips. To deepen the stretch, you can even bend your upper body forward and lock your hands at the sides of your desk. Repeat the stretch with the other leg.
- Hamstring Stretch: Tight hamstrings are a common problem for many people as this muscle group responsible for bending or flexing your knee is located in the back of your thigh. Hamstring stretches can reduce low back pain or leg pain. To do this stretch, put your left leg on the desk, straight in front, forming a 90 degree angle to the floor. Try slightly bending your knee on your standing leg to further deepen the stretch. Hold this pose for a few breaths before switching legs.
- Overhead Stretch and Reach: This is an easy way to stretch and one which we may even do unintentionally. Interlock your fingers over your head and press upwards, holding for a few seconds before releasing. You can also sit straight in your in chair and stretch your right arm over your head. Gently lean to the left until you feel a stretch in your right side. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds and repeat with the left arm over your head.
- Dynamic Quad Stretch: Prolonged sitting and standing can put a lot of pressure on the thighs. To release this tightness, you need to open up your hip muscles. A dynamic quad stretch can do this. All you need is a great balance and coordination to get this stretch correct. Stand with your back facing the desk. Lift your left leg and bend it. Place your foot on the desk and keep hands on the hips. You can bend your standing knee to deepen the stretch. Hold this pose for a few breaths before moving onto the other leg.
- Heart-opening Bridge: The bridge is a dynamic way to open your chest and shoulder and can strengthen your mid back. It can be done in both a sitting and standing position. Extend your arms behind you, clasping your hands together. Stretch your arms and gently lift them until you feel a stretch in your chest. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
- Thread the Needle: This shoulder-releasing yoga posture is also good for improving range of motion and posture. Start by keeping your hands flat on the desk in front of you, and your head and eyes facing down. Your feet should be feet hip-width apart, and your hips should align with a straight back. Take your right arm and thread it underneath your left arm so your hand points to the left wall. Hold this pose for a few breaths and then switch sides.
- Spinal Twist: This stretch helps to reduce lower back pain. Start by sitting on your chair with both feet on the floor. Then use your right hand to reach behind for the back of the chair and gently rotate the upper body to the right, keeping your back straight and your hips square to the front. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat to the left.