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Seated Stretches: 7 Stretches for a Happier day at the Office

Flexibility and mobility are essential for keeping our bodies flexible, mobile, and pain-free. Flexibility is the ability of the muscles to lengthen passively through a range of motion. In contrast, mobility is the joint's ability to move through a range of motion. Individuals with sedentary jobs are more prone to inflexibility due to a lack of movement in the body. Sitting most of the day lengthens the glute muscles and shortens the hip flexors. As a result, the hip flexor will adapt to its shortened state and become tight. The shortened hip flexor can cause hyperextension of the low back, leading to an imbalance between these muscles (hip flexor and glutes) and other issues.

In addition to what happens around the hips from sitting most of the day, our posture is also affected. When working at a desk on a computer, we tend to adopt less optimal sitting positions (slouching, leaning to the side, head jutting forward, etc.) when we get tired. We know we should get up, yet we settle for a shift in our position rather than a complete reset. To combat tightness and inflexibility from sitting all day, here are some stretches and mobility exercises during a quick break to stretch and reset during the workday.

Stretches to get you through the workday:

Neck/Upper Trap Stretch

A woman is performing a neck stretch by gently press head toward shoulder


  • Tuck the chin slightly. Bring the left ear toward the left shoulder. Use the left hand to gently apply pressure.

  • When you feel the stretch, hold for 15-30 seconds, and then switch sides.


  • Keep shoulders down and relaxed.

Chest Stretch

A woman stretches her chest by clasping hand behind her back and pulling shoulder blades together.


  • With the head and neck relaxed, clasp the hands behind the back.

  • Pull the shoulder blades together and lift the hands away from the body.

  • Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Passive Thoracic Rotation

A woman is doing a thoracic stretch by turn to the torso to one side and holding. The position is stretching muscle in the back


  • With the feet planted on the floor with toes facing forward, turn the torso to the right. You may hold the outside of the right thigh or the chair. Hold for 15-30 seconds before switching.

Seated Figure Four

A woman is stretching muscles in the hip by placing the left foot on the right thigh and gently pushing down on the left knee


  • From a seated position, place the left foot on the right thigh.

  • With the left hand, gently press down on the left thigh near the knee.

  • Hold the position for 15-30 seconds before switching sides.

Seated HS Stretch