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5 Easy Stretches You Can Do at Work

Focused on Health - February 2012

by Colleen Martin

exercise in minutes stretchingStretching doesn’t just feel good. It actually does good.

Maintaining flexibility is important, especially if you sit at a desk all day. Stretching boosts energy, releases tension and improves circulation.

Even better: stretching during the workday is a great way to relieve muscle tension and stress. This is good news because allowing stress to build up can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off diseases like cancer.

So, take a few minutes out of your busy day to stretch the stress away. Try these quick and easy stretches without even leaving your desk.

Back extension and shoulder blade pinch

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and gently lean backward to the point of mild tension with your arms also reaching back and squeezed toward each other. Tighten shoulder blades, lower back muscles and hold. Repeat three times.

Bridge stretch

Interlace your fingers with your palms pointing toward the sky, straighten your elbows and reach as far up as possible with both hands and hold for 20 seconds.

Forearm and wrist stretches

Extend one arm without bending the elbow. Bend your wrist upward, and use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back toward you and hold for 15-20 seconds. Release and bend the same wrist downward, gently pulling it down and toward you with the other hand. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat both stretches with your other arm.

Leg extensions

Grab the seat of your chair to brace yourself and extend your legs straight out in front of you parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes five times then release. Repeat three times.

Hamstring stretch

Stand with your feet crossed and gently bend forward at the hips and waist to the point of mild tension. Feel the stretch along the back of your rear leg. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.

So next time you feel your muscles tightening or your eyes drooping, do your body a favor and stretch to recharge.

Related Links
Short on Exercise Time? Get It Done in Minutes (MD Anderson)
Stretch Out Your Workout (MD Anderson)
Stretch Toward Better Health (MD Anderson)

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