We’ve always believed that mental and physical health is crucial – take care of yourself, find your balance, and stay sharp.

This is especially true at work, where the average American spends 8.6 hours a day. Experts recommend that you should stretch at least once per hour, so that’s why we’ve done a little research and have put together a list of 8 desk stretches – one for every hour of your day – that you can do while sitting at your desk.

Since the majority of our time is spent sitting at a desk, it’s important to prioritize your physical health while you sit. A few stretches each day (ideally, all of the stretches below during the course of one work day) can make a difference for your health in the long run.

Here are 8 desk stretches to do while sitting at your desk:

desk stretches elbow pumpDesk Stretch #1: The Elbow Pump

The Elbow Pump is one of the desk stretches that you can do while sitting down.

If you played Little League baseball, you know this stretch.

Touch your opposite shoulder blade, and then gently grab your elbow and pull it towards the opposite side. This stretch feels good and doesn’t draw attention while you do it.

 

desk stretches knee jerkDesk Stretch #2: The Knee Jerk

Another stretch for you that takes 10 seconds and doesn’t require you to get up out of your seat.

The knee jerk stretch requires you to 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, and then do the other knee. This one feels great.

 

Desk Stretch #3: The Toe Toucher

We’ve all been doing toe touch stretches since middle school P.E. classes. (Back then, we could actually touch our toes)

To do toe toucher desk stretches, move to the edge of your seat and remain sitting. Straighten out those legs and reach out to try and touch your toes (remember, keep those legs straight).

Hold it for 10 seconds and feel that burn in the back of your legs and in your back.

 

desk stretches touch the skyDesk Stretch #4: Touch The Sky

Remove your hands from your computer keyboard and interlock both hands together.

Take a deep breath.

With your palms facing the ceiling, raise your interlocked hands to the sky. Hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds. If you have sweat stains under your shirt, you may want to consider scheduling this stretch as the first one you do in the morning.

 

desk stretches knee pumpDesk Stretch #5: The Knee-Pump

This one is a douse.

Cross your leg and rest it on your knee. Sit up straight. Take a deep breath and push down gently on your knee to stretch those long neglected glutes. As you’re pushing down on your knee, remember to exhale slowly.

Rinse and repeat for the other leg, taking about 5-10 seconds to hold the stretch.

 

Desk Stretch #6: The Hand Holder

By hour 6 in your work day, you’ve probably typed about 1,000 words and dialed about 40 phone numbers. It’s time to give those hands, fingers and arms a niiiiice stretch.

The Hand Holder desk stretch will do the trick. While sitting down, grab your hand and bend it slowly towards you until you feel a slight burn in your wrist. Hold this stretch for 5 seconds. Then, grab your other hand and do the same thing. Repeat this stretch 3 times.

Then, grab your original hand with your palms facing out and pull back until you feel a stretch in your wrist. Do this stretch 3 times on both hands and you’ll feel rejuvenated to go back and type up more words and make more phone calls.

Desk Stretch #7: The Neck Breaker

You’ve had a long day at this point of the work day, and it’s time to stretch that neck! The neck breaker is a stretch that you should do gently. To perform the stretch, take your hand and grab the opposite side of your head – gently.

Gently pull your head towards your shoulder. Close those eyes. Move your head a few inches towards your shoulder and repeat for the other side.

Your work day is almost done.

 

Desk Stretch #8: One Arm Hug

You’ve made it through the work day, and it’s time to give yourself a nice pat on the back and a hug.

Take your left arm and grab the back of your right shoulder. With your right hand, grab your left elbow and and gently push it towards your right shoulder.

This will stretch your left shoulder out nicely. Rinse and repeat with your other arm to stretch out your right shoulder.

That’s it! You’ve successfully stretched each hour of your day and improved your health as a result with only a minute or two of actual stretch time. For 9 more desk stretching exercises, please visit this Office Vibe post.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that unites exceptional organizations with exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. Or, to be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.