At desk exercises with Margo Crawford, Productivity Coach and Yoga Instructor

Revitalize Your Workday with At-Desk Exercises

We sit at our desks for long hours. For some of us, we have standing desks but rarely give ourselves the chance to sit down. Both stances are bad for our health and our work. Here is a list of at-desk exercises and stretches you can do throughout the workday during a break to keep you limber and comfortable throughout the workday.

You, of course, always want to consult with a physician before doing any of these exercises. If you have had back or neck issues in the past, you are well advised to sit this one out until you are pain free.

Follow along as you read through these directions.

Neck Rolls

Gently, bring your chin to your chest stretching the back of your neck. Begin to move your head in a circle clockwise. Notice where you are holding tension and continue to roll your head until the tension is released. Then move your head in the opposite direction, counter clockwise.

Shoulder Shrugs

Bring your shoulders up to your ears, tighten up your upper body. Then quickly release your shoulders down. You can enhance this exercise by inhaling in as you bring your shoulders up and exhaling with a sigh or a sound when you release.

Wrist Stretch

Extend your arm out in front of you, with your other hand pull back gently on your fingertips. You’ll begin to feel a stretch in your forearm. Remember to be gentle with this stretch. If you have been typing or keyboarding for a long period of time. This is a great stretch to do.

Overhead Stretch

Sit on your chair, and allow the back of the chair to support your back for this at-desk exercise. Slowly bring your arms up over your head. To deepen this stretch when you lift your arms, inhale deeply at the same time. Slowly bring your arms down while exhaling. Do this several times, each time try to touch the ceiling and move into a deep stretch for your upper body.

Side Stretch

Sit on your chair, and have your back supported by the back of the chair. Cross your left leg over your right leg, and bring both hands to rest on your right hip. To deepen your stretch, look behind you. Remember to breathe. Then return to your center and switch to the other side.

Relax Your Gaze

Close your eyes or look out the window at a distance. Doing this can alleviate eye strain especially if you’ve been staring at a computer screen all day.

Many people are unsure of what to do during a break. Often we race through our workday in uncomfortable chairs and desks. Take time to stretch, breathe and rest with these at-desk exercises. You’ll find you have more energy throughout the workday. Taking short breaks for these exercises not only alleviates muscle tension and discomfort it also enhances focus and concentration. Remember, a healthy work environment is about taking proactive steps to care for your body throughout the day. So, the next time you feel the strain of a long work session, take a few minutes to revitalize your body with these easy-to-do desk stretches. Your productivity and well-being will thank you.

Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. Margo is a registered yoga teacher instructor with Yoga Alliance. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners, and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized, and productive in their workplace. If you scattered in your workday and want to feel more in control call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected]