5 Minute Stretches to Do at Your Desk

Like so many others across the world, you might have a job where you find yourself sitting for prolonged amounts of time each day. You could be noticing your neck feeling stiff, your back aching, or your legs feeling a bit restless. After a long day at the office are you finding yourself feeling sore and worn down from being in the same position most of the day? We’re gonna share a few stretches you can do quickly at your desk that will help you feel better throughout your workday. 

Arm Stretches at Work 

After sitting at a computer for a few hours your arms are sure to feel stiff. Shaking out your hands and readjusting only works for so long. Taking just a few minutes to complete some of these stretches will help you feel more flexible and relax your arms. You can stay sitting for these moves or take a few minutes to stand and do these. Check out these easy stretches that will help your arms feel at ease in no time:

Reach for the Sky

  • Clasp your hands above your head with your palms facing the sky
  • Sit or stand straight up and push as far as you can towards the sky
  • You will feel this stretching your arms and back too 
  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat a few times

Cross-body Shoulder Stretch 

  • Start by standing or sitting straight
  • Cross your right arm over your body with your hand facing down
  • Hook your left arm under your right arm, supporting the right elbow 
  • Use your hooked forearm to pull your right arm across your body allowing you to feel a nice shoulder and arm stretch 
  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds then repeat on the opposite side 

Tricep Stretch 

  • While standing or sitting straight raise your right elbow towards the sky with your forearm hanging down and your palm facing your back  
  • Then use your left hand to grab your right elbow and pull slightly behind your head 
  • Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and then switch and stretch the other side 

Leg Stretches at the Office 

Working in the office for hours might not allow your legs to get the motion and movement they need during the day. Sitting for hours with your legs crossed or feet on the floor could cause tension and sore muscles in the legs that can reach through the back and torso as well. Your legs may start to feel restless because your muscles are wanting to be used. Check out some of these 5-minute leg stretches you can complete, all while sitting at your desk:

Seated Hamstring Stretch 

  • Move closer to the edge of your seat and extend your legs out straight in front of you while keeping your heals resting on the ground 
  • Then, while keeping your back straight, fold over towards your toes
  • For support, hold the sides of your seat 
  • Stretch as far towards your toes as you can and hold this pose for 30 seconds
  • Repeat a few times until you feel more relaxed 

Seated Pigeon Move 

  • Sit straight up in your desk chair
  • Cross your right ankle over your left knee
  • Make sure your right foot is flexed, allowing your hip and glute to feel the stretch 
  • For a more powerful stretch lean forward into your right hip 
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side 

Back and Neck Stretches from Your Desk 

Whether you’re sitting properly or have poor posture at your desk, you’re bound to have a tense and aching back and neck after a long day. Sitting with poor posture makes the feelings worse though because it puts more stress on your muscles and joints than sitting correctly. Make efforts to sit straight up in your chair, and check out these stretches to help relieve some of the pain: 

Spinal Twist 

  • Sit sideways in your chair 
  • Then turn your torso until you can grab the back of the chair with both hands 
  • Gently pull to twist your back more until you feel a good stretch 
  • Keep this move for around 15 seconds and then switch to the other side 

Shoulder Shrug & Rotation 

  • For a shoulder shrug, you just need to sit straight and lift your shoulders up and down
  • You can do this several time throughout the day to feel more relaxed
  • For a shoulder rotation just sit straight and rotate your shoulders forward 10 times and then backward 10 times 
  • You can also do this several times per shift 

Lateral Trunk Stretch 

  • While sitting straight, raise your right arm straight towards the sky
  • Then, gently bend your body towards the left 
  • You will feel this stretch in your trunk and upper arm 
  • Use your opposite hand to hold the side of the chair or rest on your thigh for support 
  • Hold this for about 30 seconds 
  • Repeat on the other side 

Neck Rotations

  • Sit straight in your chair
  • Circle your neck clockwise a few times, and then counterclockwise 
  • Reach your ear to your right shoulder, then to your left
  • Reach your chin to your chest 
  • Bend your neck towards your back 
  • Repeat these moves throughout the day to feel some neck relief 

Take about 5 minutes from your day at the office to complete these stretches and you will be feeling more relaxed and less tense at the desk in no time!  


Healthline Editorial Team. (2020). Stretches to do at work every day. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/deskercise 

9 Desk Stretches for People Who Sit All Day. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.readers.com/blog/9-desk-stretches-for-office/

Seliger, S. (n.d.) Stretching exercises at your desk: 12 simple tips. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/stretching-exercises-at-your-desk-12-simple-tips#1