Stretching exercises to do when sitting in front of the computer all day

Student with arms stretched

Spending a lot of time studying or working in front of the computer will leave your body posture out of alignment. It has also been proven that sitting for long hours at our desks can also increase various other kinds of health concerns.

At a time where remote work and study has become the norm, long periods of time seated in front of a computer has become a common problem for many students and employees. To counter this, experts suggest doing minimal stretching exercises to help with your blood flow, and improve your posture at the same time.

Here are some full body stretches that you can do while working at your desk.

1. Neck Stretch

Stretching your neck can reduce upper body strains. Most people tend to lean towards their computer screens, straining and stretching the neck muscles. A neck stretch will help relax strained neck muscles and prevent frequent headaches.

To do this simple yoga stretch, bring down your right arm and hold the side of the chair. Tilt your head towards the left till you feel a stretch down the side of the neck. Retain this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat on the opposite side.

2. Shoulder and Chest Stretch

Stand up straight and bring your arms behind you and interlock your fingers. Start lifting your arms until you feel an extension across the chest. When you feel your body stretching, hold your position for 15 to 30 seconds. Release and return to your sitting posture.

3. Spinal Stretch

Bad posture can cause tremendous strain on our neck and upper body. A spinal stretch can help relieve those tensions across your back and improve your posture.

Put your feet down to touch the floor and contract your abs. Begin carrying your upper body by turning or twisting towards the right. Then, bring your left hand and touch your right knee. Twist as far as it feels comfortable for you and hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

4. Back Stretch

Our back suffers every time we bend towards the screen, when slumping down or reclining back. To help counter tension build ups on this area, sit upright on your chair and rest your back against the backrest. Be comfortable and keep the palm of your hands at the back of the neck.

Bend your neck backwards toward the backrest and maintain your elbows wide till you feel a stretch across your chest and back. Hold this gentle stretch for ten seconds.

5. Hip Stretch

The lower part of our body gets tight when we keep sitting for long hours; our hip flexors get shorter and tighter. With a hip stretch, you will be able to stretch the glutes as well as all the areas of the hips. To do this, sit upright and rest your right ankle on your left knee. 

Start bending forwards at the hips till you feel a stretch across the right glute. Press down your right knee and increase that stretch. Hold the posture for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

6. The Wrist Stretch

Typing on the keyboard for hours or resting the wrists all day can make them tight. With a few simple stretches, you can now exercise your wrist flexors. Bring your right arm straight out in front of you with the palm of your hand facing up. 

Flex your wrist with the fingertips pointing towards the floor. Bring your left hand forward and pull back on your fingers to strengthen the stretch. Do it until you feel the stretch up your arm. Retain the posture for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat on the other hand with the palm facing downwards.

7. A Half-kneel Stretch

Kneel on the floor and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Flatten your lower back muscles and inhale. Exhale as you start shifting your body weight forwards. Keep alert and do not let the back arch.

Follow a full body stretch routine if you are working at the computer for most of the day. They are easy and can be tried at any hour.

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