What are the best work day stretches to keep a healthy back, spine and neck?

Technology has simplified our lives both in and outside of the office environment. On any given day, it’s not unusual to see co-workers hunched over laptops or cell phones. Others frantically work non-stop at a desk. These gestures each take a toll on our bodies, which was designed to move. A daily routine of stretching in the office can keep the back, spine and neck in good working order. It’s important to maintain the alignment because good posture contributes to good health. It will also prevent serious damage to the nerves and muscles in the area. It’s possible to keep a healthy spine alignment, whether sitting in the office all day or just having a cup of coffee. All it takes is some thought and conditioning.

Here are some exercises that work great in the office or at home. The goal is to retain the body’s flexibility because it helps with movement. If you develop these habits of stretching early you’ll reap the benefits as you age. You don’t need a set time at work to stretch; you just need to stretch a couple of times during the day. Most of us do experience back or neck pain from sitting all day. The stretches can actually help to reverse the condition and improve your posture.

Common Causes of Healthy Back, Spine and Neck Problems

Today’s lifestyles and work habits can cause back, spine and neck injuries. The most common cause is strain by lifting heavy objects. So can repetitive actions like sitting in the same position for hours. Stretching routines do help to prevent injury and heal the strains.

Easy Stretch Routines Without Leaving the Office

It’s a fact. Neck, back and shoulder pains are associated with a desk-bound job. At some point we all experience strain or stiffness in our neck or back. Simple stretching exercises can prevent muscle strain and restore the body’s flexibility. It helps to loosen up the muscles, increase blood circulation and improve your moods.

  1. Sit straight up and raise one arm above your head. Looking forward, bend your arm at the elbow with the palm of your hand touching your shoulder blade. Count to 10. Do the other arm. You’ll feel the stretch in your lower back, the shoulder blade and the upper arm.
  2. Sit up straight and bend your head forward. Slowly roll it towards the shoulder, then towards your back and to the opposite shoulder. Finish with a full head roll returning to the starting position. Repeat 5 times. This is a slow movement. Do not pull or strain the neck.
  3. Sit upright and cross your right leg. Slowly turn your torso only to the right. Hold the position for a count of 10. Do the same for the left side. You’ll feel the stretch in the mid-section of your body.
  4. Stand upright and keep the back straight. Clasp your hands behind your back. Push your chest forward raising your chin and slowly bend your head backward looking upward. Slowly raise your hands to a comfortable level. Hold the stance for a count 10.
  5. Sit upright in a chair. Let your head drop forward to stretch the neck. Raise both shoulders with your arms at your side. Hold for a count of 10. Drop your shoulders and repeat 5 times.


Stretching is meant to relax the back areas and improve flexibility. These exercises are simple and should be done in moderation. Always stay in your own comfortable zone.

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