15 Seated Stretching Exercises For Students and Office Workers
Work Wellness

15 Seated Stretching Exercises For Students and Office Workers

|Mar 1, 2021

If you're a student or working professional, you probably spend a lot of time hunched over a desk and seated. Remaining in such a position for such a long time isn't beneficial for your physical or mental health. To combat issues such as back pains, headaches, and lowered productivity, there are simple seated stretching exercises you can do anywhere!

1. Chest Stretch

Whether you're sitting or standing with your ergonomic office desk, lace your arms behind your back and gently lift them upwards. Pretend as if you're attempting to put your laced fingers over your head. Keep the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

But, make sure to keep your arms straight and be gentle. The objective of the seated stretching exercises is to provide relief, and overstretching might hurt you.

Chest Stretch

2. Shoulder Shrug

Whether you're sitting or standing, bring your shoulders up to your ears and squeeze them tight. Keep the position for 1 to 2 seconds, and then roll them back as you relax. Do this about 8 to 10 times before rolling the shoulders forward.

Shoulder Shrug

3. Upper Back Stretch

This is a great back stretch at work because of how simple and effective it is. Stay seated or stand and put your arms out straight in front of you. Rotate your arms outward so that your palms are facing opposite sides. You can cross your arms so that they face each other and then stretch out further.

Pretend like you're curving yourself over a ball and round your back while dropping your head. Don't relax, rather hold a curved position for 10 to 30 seconds before slowly coming back to your original position.

Upper Back Stretch

4. Spinal Twist

Stay seated with your feet to the floor. Keeping your hands on the armrests of the chair, gently twist your torso to the right. Make sure to stop twisting if it gets uncomfortable; otherwise, you risk hurting your back.

Keep your back straight, and your hips squared while you hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat it on the other side once you're done.

Spinal twist

5. Torso Stretch

Lace your fingers together and stretch them up above your head. Take a deep breath and stretch as much as you can. On your exhale, unlace your fingers and sweep them down. Do this about 8 to 10 times!

6. Forearm Stretch

Stretch out your right hand and let your fingers face the floor by dropping your palm. Using your left hand, gently pull your fingers and palm toward you. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and then repeat on the other hand.

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7. Neck Stretch

While sitting, grip the side of your chair with any hand and pull. While gently pulling, tilt your head to the opposite side. You know it's working when you can feel a stretch down your neck and shoulder. Keep the position for 10 to 30 seconds and then switch.

8. Hip Flexor Stretch

If you're at a standing desk, then take your right leg back a bit. Bend the right knee almost like a lunge until you can feel the stretch in your right hip. Keep the position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat.

Hip Flexor Stretch

9. Seated Hip Stretch

With your back straight and seated on your office chair, put your right ankle on your left leg. Lean forward gently until you can feel a stretch and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

To deepen the stretch, you can press down on your right leg. Once you've stretched out, repeat on the other side.

10. Inner Thigh Stretch

This is one of the seated stretching exercises for your thighs and legs. Once you're comfortably seated, stretch the legs wide and toes out as far as you can and lean forward. Place your elbows on your thighs and gently press until you can feel a stretch. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.

11. Overhead Stretch

The most natural stretch of all is the overhead stretch. It is the easiest of chair stretching exercises and one we've all done before. Simply lace your fingers together, raise your arms above your head and stretch as far as you can.

Overhead Stretch

12. Back of the Legs

If you're starting to not feel your legs or are sitting in a position that cuts off circulation, then this is a great exercise. If you're looking for seated flexible exercises, then this is a simple but effective one.

Simply stretch your legs out from where you're seated and bend forward as if to touch your toes. If you can, then touch your toes but don't push yourself too far lest you hurt yourself.

Back of the Legs

13.  Wrist Stretch

Typing and writing all day can have your wrist aching for some comfort. This is a simple standing desk exercise you can do. Once you've stood up, place your wrists on the desk so that they face away from you. Gently put some pressure and hold the position for a few seconds before following it up with some wrist rolls.

14.  Stress Ball Squeeze

Not everybody recognizes the importance of a stress squeeze ball. They may seem like simple stress buster toys, but they serve a greater purpose. Squeezing the stress buster ball is a stretch of its own for your hands, fingers, and forearms!

Stress Ball Squeeze

15. Eagle Arm Twist

If you're still feeling some aches in your shoulders, then try a quick Eagle arm stretch. Raise your arms to shoulder level, cross one over the other and lift your forearms at the elbow. Turn your palms inwards and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat for the other side as many times as you need.


Stretching, movement, exercise, and physical activity are all incredibly important. It isn't just important for our physical health but for our mental health as well. Being seated and hunched over a desk for a long time isn't good for you.

This is why some are making a switch to standing desks and opting for simple seated stretching exercises to perform through the day! So, with these simple stretches, you'll be able to feel an immediate difference in your productivity, aches, and pains!

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