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Be Well - Exercises at the Office

Apr 27, 2022, 16:33 PM
If you work in an office or spend hours each day sitting at a desk, you know how stiff and sore your body can become after a day of work. Taking a few minutes to stretch during the day can help you stay invigorated.

10 simple exercises for your work day

If you work in an office or spend hours each day sitting at a desk, you know how stiff and sore your body can become after a day of work. Taking a few minutes to stretch during the day can help you stay invigorated. 

Skagit Regional Health’s Physical Therapy team offers ten easy exercises that can be done at your workstation to stretch and strengthen your body. Setting a reminder on your calendar to stretch each day is a simple step to incorporate stretching into your workday routine.

The first group of exercises can be done from your desk chair and only take a few minutes to complete.

1. Seated Cervical Retraction
This exercise helps to strengthen your neck muscles and improve slouched posture.

  • Start by sitting in an upright position with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently draw your chin in, while keeping your eyes fixed on something in front of you. Make sure that you do not look down as you do this exercise or bend your neck forward.
  • Hold for five seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement ten times.

2. Seated Scapular Retraction
This exercise helps strengthen your upper back, promoting improved posture and shoulder function.

  • From an upright, seated position gently squeeze your shoulder blades down and together. Make sure to maintain good posture during the exercise.
  • Hold for five seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement ten times.

3. Seated Trunk Rotation - Arms Crossed
This exercise helps improve mobility and flexibility in your lower back.

Seated Trunk Rotation - Arms Crossed Stretch
  • Begin by sitting upright in a chair with your arms crossed over your chest and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Slowly rotate your trunk to your left side then return to center and repeat the rotation on your right side and rotate back to center.
  • Hold each side for three seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement ten times.

4. Seated Upper Trapezius Stretch
This exercise reduces tightness in your neck which often occurs from spending time in front of screens (computers, televisions and smartphone).

  • Begin by sitting upright in a chair.
  • Reach your hand toward the floor, then slowly bend your head toward the opposite side and hold. Continue gently reaching your hand toward the floor during the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.

5. Seated Figure Four Stretch
This exercise stretches the outsides of your hips, improving hip mobility.

  • Begin by sitting upright in a chair with both feet on the ground. Bring the ankle of one leg up onto the opposite knee.
  • Apply a gentle pressure with one hand on the top of your bent knee, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your buttocks. Relax, then repeat for 30 seconds.
  • Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and back straight during this exercise.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.
Seated Hip Flexor Stretch

6. Seated Hip Flexor Stretch
This exercise can improve hip flexibility and lead to decreased pain in your lower back and hips.

  • Begin sitting upright in a chair.
  • Move to the side of the chair and extend one leg back backward. Gently rock your pelvis forward to feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Make sure to maintain good posture and hold onto the chair or another sturdy object for balance.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.

7. Seated Hamstring Stretch
This exercise can increase flexibility and improve range of motion in your hips.

  • Begin sitting upright with your hands on your hips and one leg straight in front of you with your heel on the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your trunk forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.

For the last three exercises, it’s time to stand up.

8. Standing Backward Shoulder Rolls
This simple exercise offers great benefits, including releasing tension in your neck and improving posture.

  • Stand up with your arms down at your sides.
  • Keeping good posture, gently roll your shoulders backwards 10 times. 

9. Single Arm Doorway Pec Stretch
This exercise improves flexibility in your chest and shoulders and may improve upper back and neck pain.

Single Arm Doorway Pec Stretch
  • Begin in a standing upright position in the center of a doorway.
  • With your elbow bent, place your forearm on the side of the doorway at a 90-degree angle from your side.
  • Take a small step forward and slightly rotate your body until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder. Maintain a gentle stretch and do not shrug your shoulder during the exercise.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this stretch twice on both sides.

10. Standing Lumbar Spine Flexion Stretch at Counter
This exercise stretches tight hamstrings and back muscles, helping to    decrease low back or leg pain.

  • Begin in a standing upright position with your hands resting in front of you on a desk or table.
  • Keeping your hands on the table, slowly walk backward, bending at your hips until you feel a stretch in your back. Make sure to only move in a pain-free range of motion during the exercise.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this stretch twice.

Each of these sets can be performed two or three times each day.

We encourage you to find time throughout your workday to pause, stretch your body and take steps to positively impact your health.

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Last post : 05/27/2022

Be Well - Exercises at the Office

Apr 27, 2022, 16:33 PM
If you work in an office or spend hours each day sitting at a desk, you know how stiff and sore your body can become after a day of work. Taking a few minutes to stretch during the day can help you stay invigorated.

10 simple exercises for your work day

If you work in an office or spend hours each day sitting at a desk, you know how stiff and sore your body can become after a day of work. Taking a few minutes to stretch during the day can help you stay invigorated. 

Skagit Regional Health’s Physical Therapy team offers ten easy exercises that can be done at your workstation to stretch and strengthen your body. Setting a reminder on your calendar to stretch each day is a simple step to incorporate stretching into your workday routine.

The first group of exercises can be done from your desk chair and only take a few minutes to complete.

1. Seated Cervical Retraction
This exercise helps to strengthen your neck muscles and improve slouched posture.

  • Start by sitting in an upright position with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Gently draw your chin in, while keeping your eyes fixed on something in front of you. Make sure that you do not look down as you do this exercise or bend your neck forward.
  • Hold for five seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement ten times.

2. Seated Scapular Retraction
This exercise helps strengthen your upper back, promoting improved posture and shoulder function.

  • From an upright, seated position gently squeeze your shoulder blades down and together. Make sure to maintain good posture during the exercise.
  • Hold for five seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement ten times.

3. Seated Trunk Rotation - Arms Crossed
This exercise helps improve mobility and flexibility in your lower back.

Seated Trunk Rotation - Arms Crossed Stretch
  • Begin by sitting upright in a chair with your arms crossed over your chest and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Slowly rotate your trunk to your left side then return to center and repeat the rotation on your right side and rotate back to center.
  • Hold each side for three seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement ten times.

4. Seated Upper Trapezius Stretch
This exercise reduces tightness in your neck which often occurs from spending time in front of screens (computers, televisions and smartphone).

  • Begin by sitting upright in a chair.
  • Reach your hand toward the floor, then slowly bend your head toward the opposite side and hold. Continue gently reaching your hand toward the floor during the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.

5. Seated Figure Four Stretch
This exercise stretches the outsides of your hips, improving hip mobility.

  • Begin by sitting upright in a chair with both feet on the ground. Bring the ankle of one leg up onto the opposite knee.
  • Apply a gentle pressure with one hand on the top of your bent knee, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your buttocks. Relax, then repeat for 30 seconds.
  • Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and back straight during this exercise.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.
Seated Hip Flexor Stretch

6. Seated Hip Flexor Stretch
This exercise can improve hip flexibility and lead to decreased pain in your lower back and hips.

  • Begin sitting upright in a chair.
  • Move to the side of the chair and extend one leg back backward. Gently rock your pelvis forward to feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Make sure to maintain good posture and hold onto the chair or another sturdy object for balance.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then relax.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.

7. Seated Hamstring Stretch
This exercise can increase flexibility and improve range of motion in your hips.

  • Begin sitting upright with your hands on your hips and one leg straight in front of you with your heel on the floor.
  • Keeping your back straight, slowly bend your trunk forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this movement twice on both sides.

For the last three exercises, it’s time to stand up.

8. Standing Backward Shoulder Rolls
This simple exercise offers great benefits, including releasing tension in your neck and improving posture.

  • Stand up with your arms down at your sides.
  • Keeping good posture, gently roll your shoulders backwards 10 times. 

9. Single Arm Doorway Pec Stretch
This exercise improves flexibility in your chest and shoulders and may improve upper back and neck pain.

Single Arm Doorway Pec Stretch
  • Begin in a standing upright position in the center of a doorway.
  • With your elbow bent, place your forearm on the side of the doorway at a 90-degree angle from your side.
  • Take a small step forward and slightly rotate your body until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder. Maintain a gentle stretch and do not shrug your shoulder during the exercise.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this stretch twice on both sides.

10. Standing Lumbar Spine Flexion Stretch at Counter
This exercise stretches tight hamstrings and back muscles, helping to    decrease low back or leg pain.

  • Begin in a standing upright position with your hands resting in front of you on a desk or table.
  • Keeping your hands on the table, slowly walk backward, bending at your hips until you feel a stretch in your back. Make sure to only move in a pain-free range of motion during the exercise.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this stretch twice.

Each of these sets can be performed two or three times each day.

We encourage you to find time throughout your workday to pause, stretch your body and take steps to positively impact your health.