The Best Exercises and Stretches After Sitting All Day

Published: 04-09-2024 | 2 MIN READ | Author: Prism Health North Texas

So many of us spend most of our days sitting. We sit at desks, in cars, and on couches. Extended periods of sitting can lead to stiffness, muscle imbalances, and discomfort. There’s a reason a lot of us feel like we need to take a big stretch after getting out of our chairs. There are some targeted exercises and stretches you can include in your weekly routine to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. These exercises can get rid of those aches, improve flexibility, and rejuvenate your body. Here are some of the best exercises and stretches to reduce the toll of sitting all day:

Hip Flexor Stretch: Sitting for extended periods can cause tightness in the hip flexors. This contributes to pain in your lower back and poor posture. To stretch your hip flexors, kneel on one knee with the other foot planted in front of you. Gently lean forward, keeping your back straight, until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.








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Seated Spinal Twist: This stretch targets the spine, hips, and shoulders to help ease tension and improve mobility. Sit tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Twist your torso to one side, placing your opposite hand on the outside of your thigh for support. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.









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Cat-Cow Stretch: This dynamic stretch targets the spine and helps improve flexibility and mobility in the back and neck. On a mat for cushion, begin on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale as you arch your back and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling. This is cow pose. Then exhale as you round your back and tuck your chin towards your chest. This is cat pose. Hold each pose for 3-5 seconds each and repeat, alternating between the two poses (cow pose, cat pose, cow pose, cat pose…), 10-15 times.









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Standing Forward Fold: This stretch helps release tension in the hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders, while also encouraging stress relief. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly hinge forward at the hips, allowing your upper body to hang down towards the floor. Keep a slight bend in your knees to protect your lower back. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds to one minute, focusing on deep breathing and relaxation.









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Glute Bridges: Sitting for prolonged periods can weaken the glute muscles, leading to instability and discomfort. Glute bridges help strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back while also improving hip mobility. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Press through your heels as you lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down with control. It will take practice but aim to lift your hips a little more every time you lift for 10-15 repetitions.









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Making these exercises and stretches a part of your daily or weekly routine can help counteract the negative effects of sitting all day and improve flexibility and mobility. While making these movements, listen to your body and modify exercises as needed to suit your individual needs and limitations. By encouraging movement and flexibility, you can revitalize and lubricate muscles to reduce aches and pain.



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Author: Prism Health North Texas

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