9 Best Stretches if You’re Working from Home

Over the past couple of years, we have seen a stark rise in the number of people regularly working from home. With the increase in time working from home, people have realized that their workstation is more style than substance. In other words, that dining room set-up is bad for your mobility. 

To keep your body feeling good, we've gathered our top nine stretches to get you through your workday.


Neck Stretches

Consistent neck stretching can reduce pain, headaches, and stiffness caused by tech neck, while also increasing flexibility. 

1. Upper trap stretch

Start sitting with good posture. Bring your ear to your shoulder. You should feel a stretch through the side of the neck. Then you can lean your head forward to create a deeper stretch. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds on each side.

2. Levator Scap stretch

Start sitting with good posture. Turn your nose to look down towards one armpit. Lift your opposite arm up and overhead to reach behind towards your shoulder blade on that side. You should feel a stretch through the lower neck/upper shoulder on the same side you have your arm reaching overhead. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds on each side.


Spine Stretches

Regular stretching of your spine offers a wide range of benefits for people of any age. Benefits include reducing tension in the muscles supporting your spine and improving your posture and taking pressure off of the discs that are located between each vertebra (which are important for cushioning the spine and absorbing pressure for the spine).


3. Thoracic extension over a chair: 

Start sitting with your back against your chair (make sure the back of the chair stops at your mid-back). Clasp both hands behind your head/neck to support your neck. Pull elbows together in front of you. Slowly arch over the back of the chair, keeping your neck fully supported with your hands. You should feel a stretch through the upper/mid-back. Perform small oscillations back and forth. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds.


4. Modified cat-cow: 

Stand with your hands on your desk in front of you or on a countertop. Slowly drop your head forward and round through your spine (mid-back and lower back) and feel a stretch. Then reverse the curve - look up towards the ceiling, let the chest drop towards the floor, and arch back. Perform in your pain-free range of motion. 

Duration: perform for about 10-15 repetitions.


5. Seated spinal rotation: 

Start seated with good posture. Place one arm next to or slightly behind you and gently turn shoulders in the same direction. With your opposite hand, try to grab the opposite armrest or outside of the chair. This will help you rotate your spine until you feel a stretch through your mid and lower back. Only perform in your pain-free range of motion. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds on each side.


Chest Stretches

If you are spending a lot of time in front of a computer, then stretching your chest is essential. The more time you spend hunched over a keyboard, the more your pec muscles will need good stretching. 


6. Pec stretch: 

Place forearms on each side of a doorway with palms facing forward and elbows at shoulder height. Slowly step forward through the doorway until you feel a stretch through the front of your chest. Try not to arch through the back, keep it flat. Bring arms lower if having the elbows at shoulder height is uncomfortable. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds.


Lower Body Stretches

Of all the areas of your body affected by extended sessions seated at your desk, your lower body is the most affected. Remaining seated for long periods will cause tightness through the leg and hip muscles, which can impact your posture. This is especially true with respect to the lumbar spine (lower back). The hip joints can also be affected by prolonged sitting, so stretching these muscles will also help decrease pressure through the joints.


7. Hip flexor stretch: 

Start standing in a lunge position with one foot in front of the other. Both feet and both hips should be facing forward and the back leg should be straight. Keep a flat back by activating the abdominal muscles then squeeze your glutes to rotate your pelvis under. Then slowly bend the front knee and transfer weight forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the opposite hip. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds on each side.


8. Hamstring stretch: 

While seated, extend one leg in front of you with your heel supported on the ground. With a flat back, slowly lower chest/trunk forward until you start to feel a stretch through the back of the thigh. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds on each side.


9. Glute stretch: 

While seated, take one foot and place your ankle over the opposite knee so you come into a figure 4 position. Sit up nice and tall. You should feel a stretch through the glute and hip on the leg that you have lifted and crossed over the other. If you want a deeper stretch, slowly lean your trunk forward with a flat back to increase the stretch. 

Duration: hold for approximately 30 seconds on each side.


One Final Reminder

Take regular standing breaks! 

We recommend taking at least one standing break of at least 5 minutes for every hour of sitting. That will help break up the time spent sitting in one position to help prevent stiffness and fatigue throughout your body. Set a timer if need be to give yourself a reminder as well! Use this time to get a snack, hydrate, take a small walk outside, or get a breath of fresh air. But most importantly, perform these recommended stretches!