North Shore Pediatrics
Educational Library

Desk Exercises and Stretches
You can do these exercises right at your desk. They'll relieve stress in both your body and mind. Work them in throughout the day. Also, take a one-minute break to stand up and stretch once an hour.

Exhale and Relax
Relaxes muscles whenever you feel tense.

  1. Inhale through your nose. Think of inhaling into the tight muscle, whether it is your upper back or sides of neck or lower back.
  2. When you exhale, consciously relax the tight muscle. Exhale all of the tension.
  3. Repeat several times.

Back Lift
Strengthens the muscles of the lower back.

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair. Clasp your hands behind your head.
  2. Bend forward as far as you comfortably can. Then slowly lift your head and torso until your back and neck are at a forty-five-degree angle to the floor. As you lift, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  3. Repeat eight times.

Total Body Stretches

  1. Raise your shoulders toward your ears, and then press them down as far as possible. Hold for five to ten seconds. Repeat twice.
  2. Circle your shoulders, five times in one direction, five times in the other.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, then press them down. Hold for a count of five without holding your breath then relax. Repeat three times.
  4. Clasp your hands behind your head. Relax and drop your shoulders. Press your elbows back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds, then relax. Repeat three times.
  5. Clasp your hands behind your waist. Slowly lift your clasped hands away from your body. Feel your chest muscles stretch and your shoulder blades pull toward one another. Hold for five seconds and relax. Repeat three times.
  6. Take a deep breath and feel your rib cage expand. As you exhale, tighten your abdominals as much as possible. Pull them in as if you were trying to zip up a really tight pair of pants. Hold the muscles tight for a slow count of five, then relax. Repeat several times.

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