10 Stretches to Improve Back Pain at Your Desk

There are many people out there who spend all day sitting at their desk at work. While you would think sitting all day is easy on the body, the truth is that it can put unexpected pressure on various parts of your body, which can get worse as time goes on. BC Back Clinic has some suggestions to help you out. Here are stretches that you can do at your desk.

  • Neck Stretch: Sitting straight upright, feet flat on the floor, slowly roll your head to one side, forward toward your chest, then complete the circle over the other side. Do this slowly, holding each position for 10 to 15 seconds before moving to the next position.
  • Upper Back Stretch: Sitting straight upright, weave your fingers together and push your palms outward. Stretch your arms straight in front of you and roll your shoulders forward, while imagining your back being pulled backward. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Seated Twist: Sitting in your chair sideways, put your shoulders and back perpendicular to the chair’s back. With a straight back and your feet flat on the ground, put your hands on the sides of the back of the chair, twisting your lower back slowly. Hold for 10 seconds then repeat on the other side.
  • Lower Spinal Stretch: Sitting in your chair, put your feet flat on the floor. Reach your right hand up in the air with your left hand on your arm rest and slowly lean to the left. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.
  • Deep Hip Stretch: Sit at the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg up and place the ankle across the knee of the other leg. Sit up tall and slowly bend forward from your hips, keeping your back straight. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds then switch sides.
  • Long Spinal Stretch: Sit in your desk chair with your feet flat on the floor and wide apart. Sitting straight, slowly move your hands down until they touch the floor or as far as you can go. Try to stretch with your back straight and your palms flat. Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Hamstring Stretch: Sitting in your chair, stretch one leg out until it is straight in front of you with your other foot being flat on the ground. Slowly lean forward until you can feel the stretch. Hold 20 seconds then repeat on the other leg.
  • Seated Knee to Chest: In your chair, bring one knee up like you would in a march while keeping the other foot flat on the ground. Holding the knee with both hands, pull it upward until you feel the stretch in your lower back and hold for 15 seconds. Then switch sides.
  • Standing Quad Stretch: Stand by your desk with one hand on the desk for support and put a foot on your chair behind you. Bend the knee you are standing on slightly, keeping the knee forward. Push your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch in your hips. Hold for 15 seconds then switch sides.
  • Standing Trunk Stretch: With your feet apart, place your hands on your lower back. Gently lean backward, arching your back, until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 seconds, and repeat.

Remember to only stretch until it is uncomfortable but not painful. If trouble persists, contact your local chiropractor for help.