Office Chair Exercises

Image Credit: Harald Groven

Have you thought about office chair exercises? It doesn’t matter whether you are in that office chair at home or at work…

Our body isn’t built to be stuck in a chair in one position for hours at a time, but this is exactly what our lifestyle seems to force us into.

Slouching at the desk not only causes more pressure on the spine, increasing the risk of disc prolapse, but also causes the stomach and bowel to be more compressed (feeling constipated?) and reduces the amplitude of our breaths and so the intake of oxygen.

This in turns means you feel tired and have less stamina.

And don’t forget the tight hamstrings, shoulder and neck muscles too!

Here are some office chair exercises to keep your back happy and your day productive…

Office Chair Exercises

  1. Make sure you sit on the chair and not at the edge of it, with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Press your feet into the floor and at the same time roll the shoulder blades towards your spine. Hold tension for 6 seconds and slowly release.
  3. If possible, take your shoes off and roll the foot over a spiky massage ball for 2 minutes per side.
  4. Lift your arms to the ceiling while taking a deep breath, then lower your arms while breathing out but keep your chest open and upright.
  5. Press feet into the floor and cross your arms in front of your chest, shoulders relaxed. Now twist gently the upper body to the right and breath in. Breath out returning to the centre. Repeat to the left.
  6. Hands on your knees, lean forward and roll the shoulders back opening the chest and taking a deep breath. Next roll your pelvis back and shoulders forward while breathing out.
  7. Keep your legs apart, tuck your chin in and start to roll your spine down moving one vertebra at the time. Allow the arms to glide to the floor. Now gently squeeze your abdominal muscles and roll back up trying to lift one vertebra at the time from the bottom up. The head is the last part to come back.
  8. Put your hands together at the back of your neck. Keep your gaze straight in front of you and press with the back of your head into your hands and with your hands against the back of your head. Hold the tension for 6 seconds while breathing.
  9. Like no 8 but now look as far to the left as possible for 5 seconds then to the right without moving your head.
  10. Now get up and go on your tip toes, stretch your arms to the ceiling while taking a deep breath. Lower the arms while breathing out and returning on your heels but keep the chest open and upright. Take some steps.

All the above office chair exercises shouldn’t cause any discomfort while performing them.

Always aim to keep your body upright while exercising, particularly 7, 8 and 9.

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NHS Choices: Prevent Back Pain at Work