17 Desk Stretches That’ll (Almost) Replace Going to the Gym

By Kat Moon

I live on the web, so I’m not unfamiliar with all the studies on the “sitting disease.” Nor am I unfamiliar with the the slightly horrifying graphics that show its health hazards—including sore necks, muscle degeneration, and foggy brains. And yet, when it comes to telling myself to step away from my desk and go to the gym, I simply can’t do it.

That’s why I’m excited to have stumbled upon these 17 desk stretches from Officevibe, a company committed to giving organizations the tools they need to become amazing workplaces. These stretches will in no way have the same effect as going to the gym a few times a week, but doing a few every day is much better than sitting hunched over at your desk for hours-long periods. From the “One Arm Hug” to the “Proposal” to the “Ballerina” to the “Knee-Jerk,” there are more than enough stretches to add to your routine.

You know what they say: A few desk stretches a day keeps the doctor (farther) away.

40% Increased risk of dying for people sitting all day (Study from Archives of Internal Medicine)

PROBLEM: Sitting for too long is bad, but not everyone can afford a stand-up desk.

SOLUTION: Stretch often at work. A few stretches a day (Ideally every hour) can make a big difference for your health in the long run.


  1. THE ELBOW PUMP – You can do this one while sitting down. Touch your opposite shoulder blade, and then gently grab your elbow, and pull it towards the opposite side
  2. THE KNEE JERK – While sitting, lift your leg up and grab onto your knee. Try and pull your leg towards your chest, and see how close you can get it. Hold for 10 seconds
  3. THE TOE TOUCHER –  While sitting, straighten your legs, and reach out to try and touch your toes
  4. THE BALLERINA – Lift your arm over your head and reach towards the opposite side. Remember to keep your back upright
  5. THE BACKWARDS CLAP – Put both of your hands behind your back with palms touching, and push out your chest like you’re trying to intimidate the co-worker across from you. Hold this pose for 5 seconds
  6. THE “I DON’T KNOW” – Raise both of your shoulders at the same time. Hold for 5 seconds, and then release. As you bring your shoulders down say “I dunno”
  7. THE BOBBLE HEAD – Lean your head down, and rotate your neck from left to right. Remember to go slow, and ideally sing a song so you don’t look so weird
  8. TOUCH THE SKY – Interlock both hands together, and try your best to touch the sky, with palms facing the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds. Just watch out in case you have sweat stains under your shirt!
  9. THE KNEE PUMP – Cross your leg, and gently push down on your knee, stretching the glutes. As your pushing down, remember to exhale slowly
  10. THE NECK BREAKER – Take your hand and grab the opposite side of your head. Gently, and I really mean gently, pull your head towards your shoulder. No need to have your ear actually touch your shoulder, only moving a few inches is good enough
  11. THE PROPOSAL – Get down with one knee on the floor and one knee bent, as if you were about to propose to your co-worker, and slowly lean forward. Hold for 5 seconds. Switch and repeat.
  12. REACH FOR THE SKY – In the same position as the one above, but this time look up to the sky, and put your hands up. This one is great for your abdominals
  13. I’M A LITTLE TEACUP – In the same position as the one above, but now put your right arm on your waist, and then take your left arm, reach it up to the sky, and then slowly towards the right side
  14. HAND HOLDING – Grab your hand and bend it slowly towards you until you feel a slight burn in your wrist. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Then grab your hand with your palms facing out and pull back until you feel a stretch in your wrist
  15. ONE ARM HUG – Take your left arm, and grab your right shoulder. With your right hand, grab your elbow and gently put it towards your right shoulder. Repeat with the opposite arm
  16. PUSH THE WALL – Find a wall or doorway, and with one arm at a time, press your hand into the wall while turning your body away until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Remember not to go too hard through, you won’t be able to move the wall, trust me
  17. THE HIGH KICK – While sitting, extend one leg, and hold for 2 seconds. Then try and lift that leg as high as it can go, and hold for 5 seconds. Be careful not to kick the desk under you though

Keep these good habits is CRUCIAL FOR YOUR WELL-BEING

If you work at a desk all day, chances are you get very little movement, and you’re doing tons of damage to your body. It’s important to move a bit and stretch your muscles, to avoid any problems in the future.

Being healthy at work is important, because it affects your productivity.

Tools like Officevibe incentivise this type of activity through the use of points, badges and achievements.

Improve your workplace now. Learn more at www.officvibe .com


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