Sitting at a desk all day can make you feel stiff and sore.

It’s good to take breaks from time to time and stretch, but that can be tricky if you have a busy schedule and don’t have time to get up from your desk (we’ve all been there!).

So here are five easy stretches you can do at your desk:

1. Neck roll: Roll your head gently forward and back, then left and right, then tilt it first to the right and then to the left. Repeat for 1 minute or until you feel the tension dissolve!

2. Shoulder shrugs: Raise your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for 3 seconds and release slowly down again, repeat 10 times. You should feel some relief in your shoulders and upper back. 

3. Arm circles: Stretch out those tight shoulders with this easy exercise that also improves blood circulation. Start by raising both arms and drawing large circles with one arm, whilst gradually drawing each circle smaller and smaller. Once you’ve done this, repeat the same movement on the other side. 

4. Wrist Stretch: Start with both hands outstretched in front of you, palms down toward the desk top or floor (as if holding an invisible ball). Then slowly rotate each hand away from its starting position until they point directly upward (as if holding an invisible ball above shoulder level). Now return them to their starting position before repeating on. This is great for when you feel like you’ve held onto your mouse or keyboard for too long.

5. Chest Stretch: Place one hand behind your back, bend forward from the waist until you feel a stretch across your chest, then lean back slightly into that sensation until you feel a gentle pull across your chest muscles (not uncomfortably tight). Hold for about five seconds; relax and repeat on both sides of your body.

Stretching is one of the best ways to combat the aches and pains that come with sitting at a desk all day. It also helps relieve stress and improve circulation, which can help prevent heart disease.

In addition to regular exercise, try out these simple stretches the next time you’re at your desk (and ask your co-workers to join in!) that will keep your body feeling great throughout the day.

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.