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Stretches and Exercises for People Who Sit All Day

Muscle Aches & Pains

Woman stretching arms at her desk

If you work at a job where you're sitting all day in an office or at home, you might find yourself with some strange aches and pains. Even though you're not doing anything physically strenuous, your whole body can start feeling sore just from staying in one position for hours. Working from home can make this even worse at times if you don't have to get up for in-person meetings and regular breaks like for coffee or lunch. Learn how to get moving and prevent future strain with this selection of stretches and exercises for people who sit all day.

Forward Bend

The forward bend is a simple stretch for people who sit all day. The forward bend is best if you have a sore back and shoulders from sitting at a desk all day. To do this stretch, start by standing in a hip-distance stance. Then, relax your upper body and roll down to a forward bend with your arms hanging towards the ground. Relax your neck and lightly tuck your chin to relieve pressure on your shoulders. Breathe deeply for several seconds and repeat this stretch as needed.

Chin Tuck

If you're struggling with a sore neck from staring down at your computer, try the chin tuck exercise. It can help relax and stretch your neck muscles. To start, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor or stand up. Relax your shoulders and look straight ahead. Slowly glide your chin straight back without tilting your head up or down or bending your neck forward. Hold for five seconds and then relax. Repeat several times.

Wrist Stretch

Typing all day can make your hands and wrists sore. A simple wrist stretch is an easy exercise for people who sit all day. To perform this stretch, press your palms together in front of your chest and hold for 15 seconds. Then, push the back of your hands together and hold for 15 more seconds. Repeat several times or as needed.

Take a Walk

While it seems simple, taking a walk can be an incredibly useful exercise for people who sit all day. Take a walk outside for 15 minutes and try to walk slightly quicker than at your normal pace if you can. Bring along some co-workers or bring your dog if you're working from home. Getting away from your desk and getting moving can keep you refreshed.

Plank For 30 Seconds

Planks are useful for engaging the whole body, especially the core. Try this exercise in the afternoon after you've been sitting all day. To do this exercise, get on the floor on all fours with your toes on the ground shoulder-width apart. Put your forearms on the ground in front of you with your elbows right under your shoulders. Keep your core tight so your body is straight from head to toe. Keep your neck in a neutral, comfortable position and hold for 30 seconds. Challenge yourself to increase the time you hold day after day.

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

Sitting all day can keep your hip muscles constricted and lead to other aches and pains in the lower back. If you're having issues with your hips, this is an easy stretch for people who sit all day. The lunging hip flexor stretch will impact your hips, quads and glutes. To start, kneel on your left knee and place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you with knee bent. Lean forward, stretching your left hip towards the floor. Hold for 30 seconds or more and switch sides to repeat.

Sitting all day, whether you're working or not, can cause some frustrating aches and pains. Try to keep moving and stretching throughout the day to reduce and prevent soreness. As always, try new stretches and exercises with caution. Don't push yourself too far, and make sure to consult your doctor if you have persistent or extreme pain. Learn more from Advil about flexibility, how to get yourself moving and identifying injuries.