8 Stretches To Do In A Chair

No matter how fit and healthy you are, if you have a desk job, there is a good chance that you have to stay on your seat for at least eight hours a day. Once you are at home, it is not a surprise that you are hunched over your phone. Think of all the time you spend sitting.

Not to mention that amidst the pandemic and work from home arrangements, it is an even greater concern because, at home, most people do not have an ideal ergonomic work set-up.

Fortunately, there is a fix. You can reverse the effects of long sitting hours without going to the gym. Add these eight quick and simple stretches that you can perform right in a chair and offset the effects of long sitting hours.

1. Neck Stretch

Neck and shoulder muscles are where most of the work stress lies. Due to stress in the neck region, most people experience headache and sore neck by the end of the workday. The simple stretching of your neck can significantly release tension from your upper body, and you are better able to concentrate on your work throughout the day.

How to Do it?

    • Sit upright with your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
    • Now gently lean your head to the right and place your left hand on your head to give a deeper stretch.
    • Hold the position and take three deep breaths.
    • Now repeat with the other side.

2. Chest Opener

Sitting for long hours can lead to inappropriate posture. And while the shoulder and back bear most of the brunt, the muscles of your front body also suffer. With this quick and simple stretch, you can get relief from tightness in chest muscles.

How to Do it?

    • Sit on the edge of your chair with your arms behind your back and fingers interlocked.
    • Now place your arms on the backrest of your chair.
    • Move your chin forward and aim to get closer to the chest.
    • Hold the position for up to 30 seconds and take a deep breath.
    • Repeat a few times.

3. Seated Side Stretch

A seated side stretch is another amazing stretch for people who sit for long hours. The quick and simple stretch releases tension from the whole side of the body.

How to Do it?

    • Sit comfortably in your chair and raise both your arms above the head (arms touching your ears).
    • Clasp both your hands together and take a few deep breaths in this position.
    • Now gently bend towards your right and hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds.
    • Return to the original and bend in the other direction.
    • Repeat the stretch 3-5 times.

4. Seated Spinal Rotation

Sitting in the same position can add a lot of stress to your spinal muscles. Therefore, it is a good idea to give your spine a good stretch so you can get along with your workday in a better way. Seated spinal stretch is a great way of improving your spinal flexibility and mobility.

How to Do it?

      • Move forward towards the front of your chair.
      • Extend your arms and place your palms between your legs.
      • Now lean forward and move your right arm such that it aims to touch your left foot while your left arm is extended upwards.
      • Repeat the arm movement in the other direction. This time your left arm should be touching your right foot.
      • Repeat the stretch 3-5 times.

5. Seated Hip Stretch

Your muscles can tighten up when you have to sit for prolonged hours. Seated hip stretch is a simple and quick stretch that can ease up the tension in your lower body.

How to Do it?

    • Sit closer to the edge of the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
    • Now cross your legs such that you place your right ankle on your left thigh closer to the knee.
    • Next, place your right hand on your left heel and the other hand on your thigh close to the knee.
    • Add pressure from your left hand on your right thigh. You need to press your thigh towards the floor for a better stretch.
    • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds,
    • Then repeat on the other side.

This completes one cycle; repeat 3-5 cycles of this stretch.

6. Seated Hamstring Stretch

The seated hamstring stretch is another quick and simple stretch that you can try while sitting. It is one of the best stretches for relieving tight hamstrings.

How to Do it?

      • As you sit on a chair, straighten your right leg and rest your heel on the floor.
      • Lean forward and aim to reach your foot by extending your arm.
      • Bend until you feel a stretch behind your knee/upper thigh.
      • Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds.
      • Return to the original position.
      • Now repeat for the other leg.

7. Seated Cat-Cow Stretch


Perhaps one of the best-seated stretches for your upper body is a cat-cow stretch. It opens up your chest, relieves shoulder muscles, and eases tension in your entire spine. Moreover, it improves breathing and your overall energy levels.

How to Do it?

    • Sit towards the edge of your chair, so your feet touch the floor.
    • With your palms resting on your thighs, slightly above the knees, lean forward.
    • Now Inhale through your nose and open the chest, looking up towards the sky.
    • As you exhale through the mouth, round your upper back with your belly tucked in, as you look towards the belly button.
    • Repeat the same stretch at least thrice.

8. Eagle Arms Stretch

The last stretch on the list of the stretches you can do in a chair is the quick and simple eagle arm stretch. It relaxes your upper body and eases your neck and shoulder muscles.

How to Do it?

    • Inhale and keep your arms wide open.
    • Now, as you exhale, bring your right arm underneath the left one.
    • With your palms and forearms wrapped together, inhale and lift the arms.
    • You may want to tuck in your chin as you lift the arms.
    • Exhale and drop your shoulders as you release your hands.

Without even getting off your office chair and work arrangement at home, these eight stretches can keep you fit and healthy. Include them in your daily routine, and you will notice a remarkable improvement in your sore muscles and stagnant energy levels at work.