Finding time to exercise during the work week can be challenging. On top of that, repetitive motion can wear down the joints and muscles, causing annoying pain and aches.
Even when you’re using a standing desk, don’t underestimate the importance of stretches! Stretching reduces the risk of joint pain, soft tissue injuries and limited range of motion. Moreover, stretching throughout the day is effective in realigning your posture and reducing muscle fatigue.
Here are some easy standing desk exercises that you can do:
1. Standing Desk Hamstring Stretch
Cross your left foot in front of your right foot. Slowly bend at the waist and lower your forehead to your left knee, while keeping both your knees straight. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Then relax and repeat by crossing your right foot first.
Another way to do these stretches is by making use of your standing desk’s stool or chair. Place your left leg on the stool. Grab your toes with both hands and lean forward at the hips. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch legs.
2. Shoulder and neck stretches
Relax your upper back and shoulders—ideally, you should feel a slight sensation of shoulder blades sliding down your back. Put your arms to the side with palms facing downwards, and tilt both your neck and hands to the right side. Hold this pose for a moment, feel the stretch and then stretch towards the left side of your neck.
3. Chest stretch
Stand facing away from your standing desk. Position your hands behind you and gently place them on the top of the desk. Straighten your back and raise your chest in the air—you should feel the front of your chest stretch; these are your pectoralis muscles stretching. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds.
4. Lower back stretch
This stretching exercise has been proven to reduce back pain. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. While fingers pointed downwards, place hands on your lower back. Stretch backwards gently, as far as possible and exhale for 3 seconds—making sure you do not bend your knees. With hands on your lower back as supports, slowly return to your neutral standing position. Repeat this stretch 1-2 times.
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