Working at a desk makes it easy to get stuck in a chair for long periods. This can lead to back and shoulder pain and poor posture. One way to combat this issue is through mobility exercises.
These exercises will help improve your posture and movement, and they can be done right at your desk. This blog will cover several simple mobility exercises that are easy to do while you work. They are ideal for all desk workers, including office employees, computer workers, and typists who spend most of their time behind a keyboard or on the phone.
Benefits of Mobility Exercises for Desk-Workers
If you work sitting down all day, it may be time to start incorporating some mobility exercises into your weekly routine. These exercises can help improve your posture and body alignment, increase your range of motion and flexibility, reduce aches and pains from sitting, enhance coordination and balance, and improve mental clarity and focus. In addition, moving around can help you maintain your overall health and well-being by promoting good circulation, flexibility, and balance. Thus, by including mobility exercises in your weekly routine, you can become more comfortable while sitting and enjoy the many benefits of being more active throughout the day. (1)
Exercises That Can Help Improve My Mobility While Working at a Desk?
For desk workers, several exercises can help to improve mobility. These exercises focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles used in sitting, such as the glutes, hip flexors, and lower back muscles.
Examples of exercises include leg swings, hip bridges, and wall slides, which help to open the body and increase flexibility. Additionally, shoulder rolls, neck stretches, and arm circles are great for loosening tight muscles caused by sitting for long hours. Finally, remember to take regular breaks so you don’t get too stiff and sore from sitting in one position. This will also help to improve your overall mobility.
12 Mobility Exercises to Do at Your Desk
Sit up tall, lower your right ear down towards your right shoulder (you don’t have to touch it!), hold for a few seconds, and repeat on opposite side.
Drop your chin down towards your chest and GENTLY roll your head from side to side.
Turn your head to the left, look over your shoulder, and hold for a few seconds … repeat on the right.
Reach for the Sky
Interlace your fingers and reach up towards the sky, as high as you can … keeping your palms facing up towards the ceiling.
Raise both shoulders toward the ears, then slowly roll them backward. Repeat, rolling forward. Do this 3x in both directions.
Place feet firmly on the floor and place one hand on the back of your chair. Exhale and twist your upper body toward the arm on the chair’s back, using your other hand to press against your leg for leverage. Hold for 2x to 3x deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
Jump Rope Minus the Rope
Hop on both feet at once or alternate. Increase the intensity by adding the arm movements you would do if you had a rope. Try for 30x seconds.
Make sure your desk is sturdy enough to support your body weight! Then, take a few steps back and place your forearms and hands flat on your desk. Lower yourself down toward your desk, keeping your core tight. Try holding for 30x seconds.
Make sure your desk is sturdy enough to support your body weight! Then, take a few steps back, so you can place your hands flat on your desk, a little wider than shoulder-width. Lower yourself down toward your desk, keeping your core tight. Then push back up until arms are straight but not locked. Try doing 20x reps.
Ideally, you would want to perform this exercise on a stationary (not wheeled!) chair. Scoot to the front of the chair with both hands facing forward. Place palms flat on the chair, bend your elbows straight back, and lower yourself down several inches, keeping your back as close to the chair as possible. Then straighten your arms to rise back to start. Complete 20x dips.
Stand up behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Do 3x sets of 10x reps.
Stand up from your chair, lower your body back down, stopping right before you sit back down. (Keep your weight in your heels to work those glutes). Then stand back up again. Repeat 10x
What Are the Benefits of Mobility Exercises for Desk Workers?
Regular mobility exercises for office workers can offer several benefits if you are a desk worker. First, mobility exercises help improve posture by lengthening tight muscles and strengthening weak ones. This improved posture helps to reduce the risk of injury caused by sitting in one position for extended periods. (2)
In addition, these exercises also increase flexibility and range of motion, which is essential when sitting at a desk all day. Mobility exercises can help relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, back, and other areas that tend to experience strain due to sitting for long hours. (1)
When it comes to mobility exercises specifically for “desk workers”, focus on stretching the hips, glutes, chest, and shoulders for maximum benefit. This will help to keep your body feeling limber and prepared for more strenuous activities outside of work time. (2)
Other Lifestyle Changes to Improve Mobility While Working at a Desk
If you are looking for ways to improve your mobility while sitting at a desk for long hours, there are several changes you can make to your lifestyle.
First, taking regular breaks throughout the day and moving your body is important. Get up from your chair and stretch every 20-30 minutes or use this as an opportunity to take a short walk around the office. Not only will this help increase your mobility, but it will also reinvigorate your mind and help give you a break from work-related stress. (1)
Another way to keep the blood flowing in your body is by using a standing desk or a height-adjustable desk. These desks allow you to switch between sitting and standing positions, which helps encourage movement in your body and reduces muscle fatigue. And who knows, maybe you can even fit our SF-T7945 Under Desk Work Office Treadmill that we offer here at Sunny. You can also set reminders on your phone or desktop calendar to get up, take “micro-breaks” every 20 minutes, and do stretching exercises like squats or arm circles. (1)
By making these small lifestyle changes, you can improve your mobility while sitting at a desk and ensure that your body and mind stay healthy throughout the day!
I hope you’ve found these exercises helpful. They’re all easy to do and require no special equipment. If you incorporate them into your routine, we think your body will thank you! Our expert Trainers here at Sunny offer a range of stretching and strengthening classes, all for FREE on our SunnyFit® App.
1. Ergonomic Intervention, Workplace exercises and Musculoskeletal Complaints: A Comparative Study, Journal, 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4219902/pdf/MJIRI-28-69.pdf. Accessed 3 February, 2023
2. Stretching In The Office, Book, 2002. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=DH82xXEkqSoC&oi=fnd&pg=PR10&dq=top+exercises+to+do+at+your+desk&ots=eGd1RalKRB&sig=FK9mxhzdIVgggHtlyUyDTKHbdGw#v=onepage&q=top%20exercises%20to%20do%20at%20your%20desk&f=false. Accessed 3 February, 2023