May 1, 2014

17 Desk Stretches That Might Save Your Life

Employee Wellness

There’s more to employee wellness than what management perceives it to be. For example, the actual “way we work.”

I think the way that we work is becoming a bit outdated. We are facing a heavier “mental” workload, that typically requires us to be in front of a computer from the morning to the evening.

Not to mention the fact that we are living in a generation where management demands expedience for every task; This is messing up employee health, employee wellness (both physical and mental), and employee morale.

The mental fatigue that we face is worsened by the fact that we’re sitting down all day and we barely move around.

Although we may not notice it, sitting down is slowly killing us.

So, we have compiled a list of stretches that will ease the tension and help you function better and become a little healthier.

Here are the 17 Desk Stretches That Might Save Your Life :

Add this infographic to your site by copying this code:

17 Desk Stretches That Might Save Your Life

Add this infographic to your site by copying this code:

As you can see, these are very simple to do and will require very little effort, as the stretches can be done right at your desk.

Here’s a little bit of a deeper explanation of our stretches. I’m going to also do them as I write about them so I can give you somewhat of a live description of what it’s like to do these stretches.

1. The Elbow Pump

It’s a fairly simple movement that require you to line up your elbow with your ear and push it down to gain that bit of flexibility.

If you’re able to pull it down for a good couple of seconds on each arm, you’ll feel a good release of tension when you release this stretch.

Download now!

2. The Knee-jerk

Not going to lie, I had a bit of trouble doing this one, especially since I’m wearing some pretty uncomfortable pants.

I will say that I definitely felt it, though. If you have the flexibility to do it right at your desk, don’t hesitate to get your blood flowing by doing this small exercise.

3. The Toe Toucher

This one is a good one to improve your overall flexibility, especially in your hips.

The simple act of reaching down and touching your toes at your desk will allow you to have a great bloodflow throughout your body and allow you to live a healthier lifestyle.

4. The Ballerina

Believe it or not, I found this one to be one of the more difficult stretches of the bunch. Especially since I’ve been sitting down for the majority of my day.

However, when I let go of the stretch I felt brand new, and my back felt absolutely terrific.

Do “the Ballerina,” by simply lifting your arm over your head and pushing it to your other side.

5. The Backwards Clap

The backwards clap is a little bit difficult if you do not have the flexibility in your shoulders to start it off. If you can’t do it, just pull your arms back and stretch.

Fortunately, I was able to pull this one off. In fact, I stretched so far that I felt my back crack. It goes to show all the damage that I’ve done to my back from years of sitting down all day.

6. The I Don’t Know

I really would like to know who named this one, because as I did it I laughed.

This one is a sitting shoulder shrug, that requires you to ease that little bit of tension on your shoulder. Do it for about five seconds in order to truly feel the benefits of this workout.

7. The Bobble-Head

This one is a bit of a weird motion and I’m sure you’re going to feel uncomfortable at first.

Move your head in circular motion in order to ease the tension within your neck. You aren’t going to believe how tense you really are, but believe me, you’re going to feel great after doing this workout.

8. Touch The Sky

Interlock your hands so it feels as if you’re holding your own hands and literally reach for the sky.

I felt my spine extend a little as I did this one, and it felt really good. This was one of the easier, yet, better stretches that I did. And it only took a couple of seconds.

9. The Knee Pump

This is another one that is not too difficult and you can do right on your chair.

Rest your ankle on the opposite knee, and then slowly push the upright knee down to get a nice little stretch going.

This was definitely another good exercise to get the blood flowing throughout the system.

Here are some other exercises to get the blood flowing

10. The Neck Breaker

This is simply pulling your neck toward your head. Being that I’m an ex-football player when I did this, the sound wasn’t too pretty.

However, I would definitely recommend that you try this exercise and treat your neck gently.

The last thing we would want is for you to get hurt trying out these healthy exercises.

11. The Proposal

Guys, be sure not to do this one in front of the ladies as it may cause an awkward interaction.

The proposal is simply getting down on one knee and getting a good stretch in. When I tilted back, I felt a very nice stretch within my hips and thighs. I even went forward to relieve some tension off of my lower back.

12. Reach For The Sky

This one differs from “touch the sky,” as it requires you to do a nice lunge motion as you direct your hands in the air.

If you’re not too active, this one maybe a little difficult. But, you will definitely feel a lot more relaxed. As this is an old yoga pose that is meant for people to naturally detoxify their body and ease their mind.

13. I’m A Little Tea Cup

If you’d like to sing the song that goes along with this stretch, we aren’t going to judge you.

This is very similar to the reach for the sky stretch, however, we’re going to ask that you twist your body as well.

Try doing this exercise on both sides as it’s advantageous to your equilibrium.

14. Hand Holding

This is basically the art of arm-wrestling yourself in order to get blood flowing to your palms and forearms.

It was probably the most stressful one out of the bunch, due to the fact that when you feel the burn it starts hurting a bit

Just make sure to keep your arms straight as you do it!

15. One Arm Hug

This is the best chest stretch that you can do, especially if you’re about to go training.

This is basically giving yourself a hug with one arm. You’ll feel the stretch as your hand goes around your back (if you’re that flexible) and it’ll really relieve some of the tension you have throughout your torso.

16. Push The Wall

This one made me feel like a brand new man.

I slowly twisted my body and pushed against the wall, and I felt the tension throughout my body release, as I came out of the stretch.

This stretch is a probably the one I would’ve started with, as it almost requires your full body to push against the wall.

17. The High Kick

This one requires a medicine ball, or, if possible a small stretching area.

I always do this before going out on runs and it helps stretch my hip flexors. If you can, find something to hold on to and raise your legs to a point where it feels like a high kick.

This will surely allow for the blood to flow throughout your body as it’s such a demanding exercising (considering you’ve been stagnant the whole day), that it’ll shock the system.

Remember, you can also make these stretches into team building activities in your office by gamifying the whole process. Make it a fun experience to get healthy, in order to get everyone involved.

Have any more “Desk Stretches” that will help create Healthier Employees?

What are your thoughts on desk stretches improving employee wellness? Do you think it’ll create healthy employees? Let me know your thoughts on twitter @Officevibe

Read our latest content