Stretching For Desk Work

When we have a job that demands us to be at a desk or computer for multiple hours a day, it becomes all the more important to make sure that we take breaks to get up, move around, and stretch.


Sedentary desk work is often accompanied by muscular imbalances that can lead to injuries in the future. A tight chest, and shoulders that round inward are common examples of imbalances that occur when using computers for long periods of time because of the seated posture. These can lead to shoulder and neck problems. Sitting all day can actually be really tough on the body!

Key Benefits of Stretching:

  • Muscle and joint flexibility
  • Improved circulation
  • Stress relief
  • Pain reduction and injury prevention

How often should I stretch?

Ideally it is a good idea to stretch for 5 minutes once every hour with continuous seated work. Once every few hours can be just as good as long as you’re able to get up and move around for a few minutes every hour. Any stretching is better than none!

Keys for Stretching:

  • Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds
  • Remember to breathe naturally
  • Stretch to the point of tightness or tension but not pain

Here are some good stretches to do throughout your day whether at your desk or out and about

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*UHN Staff: contact the Wellness Centre if your department is interested in having a wellness staff member come by to lead a stretch break!*


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