Sitting Stretches

Sitting Stretches

Here is a series of stretches you can do while sitting. They are good for people who work at office jobs. You can relieve tension and energize parts of your body that have become stiff from sitting.

If you don’t have much uninterrupted time available, use short periods of stretching (five minutes) every three or four hours. This will help you to feel consistently good throughout the day.

Interlace your fingers, then straighten out your arms in front of you with palms facing out. Feel the stretch in your arms and through the upper part of your back (shoulder blades). Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Do at least twice.

Interlace fingers, then turn your palms upward above your head as you straighten your arms. Think of elongating your arms as you feel a stretch through your arms and upper sides of your rib cage. Hold only a stretch that feels good. Do three times. Hold for 10 seconds.

With arms extended overhead, hold on to your the outside of your left hand with the right hand and pull your left arm to the side. Keep arms as straight as comfortably possible. This will stretch the arm and side of body and shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Do both sides.

Hold your right elbow with your left hand, then gently pull elbow behind head until an easy tension-stretch is felt in your shoulder or the back of your upper arm (triceps). Hold an easy stretch for 30 seconds. Do not overstretch.

With your fingers interlaced behind your head, keep your elbows straight out to the side with your upper body in a good, aligned position. Now think of pulling your shoulder blades together to create a feeling of tension through your upper back and shoulder blades. Hold the feeling of releasing tension for 8 – 10 seconds, then relax. Do several times. This is good to do when the shoulders and upper back are tense or tight.

Hold your right arm just above the elbow with your left hand. Now gently pull your elbow toward your left shoulder as you look over your right shoulder. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Do both sides.


With the palm of your hand flat, thumb to the outside and fingers pointed backwards, slowly lean arm back to stretch your forearm. Be sure to keep palms flat. Hold for 35 – 40 seconds. Do both sides. You can stretch both forearms at the same time if you wish.


Rotate your ankles while sitting, clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Do one ankle at a time, 20 – 30 revolutions

Hold on to your lower left leg just below the knee. Gently pull it toward your chest. To isolate a stretch in the side of your upper leg, use the left arm to pull the bent leg across at an easy stretch tension. Do both sides.

Lean forward to stretch and to take the pressure off your lower back. Even if you do not feel a stretch, it is still good for circulation. Hold for 45 – 50 seconds. Put your hands on your thighs to help push your body to an upright position.


Sit in a position that is comfortable. Very slowly roll your head around in a full circle as you keep your back straight. While you are rolling your head around slowly you may feel that you should stop and hold a stretch at a particular place that feels tight. Do so, but don’t strain. If you are holding a position, be relaxed and the area will gradually loosen up. These stretches for your neck will help you sit or stand with better posture when you find you are slouching.


Chris Tompson

Chris Tompson