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Stretches for a Long Day in the Office

Sitting in front of a desk, at a computer, and constantly typing and on the phone can be painful. The typical 9 till 5, is a long haul when you don’t look after yourself throughout it. The simple solution is… Stretch! Taking the following stretches will increase your flexibility and reduce all that tension and stress in your muscles. These stretches should be done every hour or so, to ensure that you won’t be locked up by the end of the day! So without further ado, here they are:

1. The Shoulder Shrug

The shoulders and neck hold a lot of stress and tension from typing, clicking and scrunching. Shoulder shrugs are a great way to relax the shoulders and get a little circulation going.

How to do it: Whilst Seated or standing, lift the shoulders up towards the ears, squeezing them as hard as you can. Hold for 1-2 seconds and roll them back as you relax down. Repeat for 8-10 reps.

2. The Upper Back stretch:

The upper back can also become tense and tight from hunched shoulders, especially if you hold the phone against your shoulder or use your mouse a lot. The shoulder rolls above may help loosen you up for this upper back stretch.

How to do it: Seated or standing, stretch the arms straight out and rotate the hands so that the palms face away from each other. Cross the arms so that the palms are pressed together. Slowly round or arch your back and place your head down. Try not collapse in half but rather pretend you’re wrapping your body around a large ball. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds. If twisting the arms doesn’t feel good, simply lace the fingers together.

3. The Spinal Twist:

Sitting for prolonged periods of time can also affect the lower back, leaving it tight and achy. This stretch will help gently work out some of that tension.

How to do it: In a seated position with the feet flat on the floor, contract the abs and gently twist the torso towards the right. If it helps, hold your hands on the edge of the seat to keep the stretch in place. Only twist as far as you comfortably can and keep the back straight whilst keeping the hips square. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

4. The Torso Stretch:

It’s not hard to find yourself in a hunched position, the position however can really make your neck, shoulders and back ache. The following stretch will help you stretch out all those muscles in your back, sides and arms.

How to do it: Whilst Seated or standing, lace the fingers together and stretch them up towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath as you stretch up as high as you can, then exhale and open the arms, sweeping them back down. Repeat for 8-10 reps.

5. Upper back Stretch

Hunching down in your seat also can put strain on your upper back! This one’s a real easy, so what’s stopping you from doing it!

How to do it: Place hands behind your head and open your elbows out as far as you can, hold for 10-30 seconds. I told you it was simple!

6. The Forearm Stretch:

Most people don’t think about their forearms! But completing this stretch will make you realise just how tight they actually are! (Go on… Try it!)

How to do it: Seated or standing, stretch the right arm out and turn the hand down so that the fingers point towards the floor. Use the left hand to gently pull the fingers towards you, feeling a stretch in the forearm. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other hand. (Told you they were tight!)

7. The Neck Stretch

Most of us drop our head down at the computer or desk, and this can place extra stress on our neck muscles. This can even lead to headaches and upper back tension as well (do not want that!)

How to do it: Whilst sitting grab the sides of your chair. Use your right hand to gently pull on the side of the chair while tilting your head to the left. You should feel it stretch down the right side of the neck and shoulder. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

In conclusion…

it is quite essential that you do take these stretches and make them apart of your daily routine. In between stretches it is also helpful you keep your feet flat and your posture straight. Don’t worry about looking funny, your body needs it! Trust me- I did all of these stretches as I was writing them out… and I feel great!