If you work at a desk all day, you've probably experienced that moment when you try to stand up, only to find your left leg practically crumbles beneath you as it tingles with pins and needles. Or maybe your neck is so stiff, you can't even look up at the sky without feeling tension, or your right butt cheek has basically lost all feeling. That bodily tension can be brutal, but thankfully, there are plenty of stretches for people who sit at a desk all day that work quickly to relieve the stiffness.
The tightness brought on by sitting on your tush for hours at a time is unpleasant AF, and some studies have even suggested sitting for prolonged periods without activity can lead to early death.
Now, don't freak out -- your desk job is not going to kill you, but you probably will experience those uncomfortable tight hips, stiff legs, and hunched shoulders at one point or another.
However, if you incorporate these six simple stretches into your day, you can definitely ease the aggravation that comes with chilling in a chair for hours on end.
Give these bad boys a try on your lunch break, or set aside a time when you get home as you unwind after a day at the office.
1. Seated Figure Four Stretch
Hip tightness is one of the most prominent problems that comes with perching yourself in front of a computer all day, as it can lead to a limited range of motion and loads of unpleasant tension in this part of your body.
The figure four stretch is a literal life-saver for your piriformis (fancy word for one of your butt muscles), and you can do it right at your desk while you're answering emails.
Then when you get home, you can take it deeper and experiment with a pigeon pose variation.
Or, I mean, you can do that in the office, too. You do you, girl.
2. Spinal Twist
It may not seem like it, but sitting actually puts more pressure on your spine and lower back than standing does.
Hunching over that keyboard all afternoon? No good for your back health.
The spinal twist is a blessing for your back and is normally done sitting on the ground, but you can easily modify it to fit the office scene and casually stretch it out in your chair.
3. Stretching Side Bend
This baby is another amazing tension-reliever that you can do sitting down, right in the comfort of your cubicle.
Trust me, your shoulder muscles will thank you big time for this one.
4. Neck Stretch
As a yoga instructor, whenever I warm up the class with some neck rolls and stretches, I hear about 50 cracks reverberate around the room. The sound itself is honestly satisfying AF.
You may not know it, but your overextended neck is craving this stretch. Give your "text neck" some TLC with very subtle amounts of pressure, especially when you perform the hand-to-ear motion.
5. Chest Opener
Research says that about 40 percent of people with back pain spend long hours at their computer each day.
Use this incredible, chest-opening stretch to concentrate on the upper spine and shoulders.
6. Hamstring Stretch
Tension in your hammies can lead to actual pain in your gluten and upper thighs, and even poor posture.
Save time for a juicy hamstring stretch whenever you have a moment free at work. I've even thrown some stretching in on the subway when it's not too crowded.
Get creative and outsmart your desk job. Happy stretching!