Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission at no expense to you. Affiliate links are marked with the asterisks (*)
When you work from home, you likely spend a lot of time sitting. Here are five stretches you need to add to your work day.
Sitting at a desk all day isn’t good for you. Even with good posture*, you still need to get up and move around. The problem is when we work from home we can end up forgetting about that.
You want to get as much done as possible. You want to avoid interrupting the flow of work with stretching. However, you’ll find yourself more productive when you take breaks.
There are five simple stretches that you can do, whether you remain seated or you stand up. These are ones that I do regularly throughout the day, every day.
Do a wrist stretch when you work from home
The one I find the most beneficial is the wrist stretch. You likely type a lot when you’re working from home. This puts a strain on your wrists. If you’re anything like me, you have multiple wrist issues. Stretching has helped me to avoid too many flare ups.
Stretch out your arm with your palm up and fingers out. Now gentle pull down on your fingers so you point them to the floor. You’ll feel a pull in your wrists, your forearms, and possibly your elbows depending on how tight the muscles are.
Hold the stretch for just 10 seconds.
Only stretch to where it feels good. You shouldn’t have pain when you’re stretching.
Stretch out the neck gently
You’ll hold some tension in your neck when you work from home. That’s even with a good setup with the desk. This leads to backache, shoulder pain, and headaches. So, you need to stretch out the neck. Do this gently!
As you sit up, tilt your head to one side and gently pull down on it with the arm on the side you’re leaning to. You only want to pull enough to feel the neck muscles stretching out. If this is painful, don’t do it and only stretch by tilting your head.
Do the same on the other side. You’ll also want to do forward and back.
You’re only holding the stretch for around 10 seconds.
Stretch the hips when you work from home
Your hips can end up tight by sitting all day. You need to stretch them out, and you don’t need to stand up for this. This could depend on your own abilities and the type of chair you sit on.
You need to be able to cross one leg over the other with the knee pointed out. The aim is to form a triangle between the raised leg and the one that remains planted on the floor. You can push gently down on the raised leg at the knee, keeping the ankle on the planted leg.
Repeat this on the other side. This is going to stretch out the muscles around the hip joints.
Fold yourself forward
This is one that you’ll need to stand up for. You need to stretch out your back, which is going to suffer when you work from home. You’re just sitting down for too long.
You can use your desk chair or your desk for support. With your legs remaining straight (not locked at the knee), bend forward at your hips. Rest your arms on the chair or desk and make sure they remain straight. The aim is to feel a stretch in your back and your legs.
Only stretch for as long as it feels good. You don’t need a table-top back to start with. You’ll gradually feel yourself able to stretch more as you do this exercise more.
Try the cow-cat move
There’s a yoga pose that is perfect for those who work from home*. It’s the Cow-Cat stretch, and for this you will need to get on your hands and knees on the floor. It’s a great stretch for your back.
Go on all fours and then stretch your head up. Your back should arch as you look toward the ceiling. Only stretch as much as you can.
Then pull back up so your back rounds out and your chin goes toward your chest. Tuck your tail bone under. You’ll need to pull in on your core muscles, making this a great exercise for keeping them toned at the same time.
Repeat this exercise five to 10 times. You can do this daily, even when you’re not working. It feels amazing.
MORE: 5 desk workouts to try
Which stretches do you do when you work from home? Share in the comments below.