Performance-Building Yoga Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk

7 Stretches to Relieve Tension

It's great to do a yoga routine before or after work, but you could also incorporate some stretches into the rest of your day. Stretch breaks are especially important for people whose jobs require them to sit at a desk in front of a computer for long hours, which can result in ​back pain and neck pain.

Just taking a few minutes to do stretches at your desk can relieve stress, increase productivity, and most importantly, make you feel better.​


Neck Rolls

Neck rolls

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Take your shoes off before starting these stretches if you are wearing high heels.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Let your chin drop down to your chest.
  4. Begin to circle your neck slowly, taking the right ear to the right shoulder, the head back, and then the left ear to the left shoulder.
  5. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and don't hurry through any areas of tightness that you come across.
  6. Do three to five rolls and then switch directions and take another three to five rolls.

Cat-Cow Stretch

Cat cow stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Bring both feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring your hands to your knees.
  3. On an inhale, arch the back and look up toward the ceiling.
  4. On the exhale, round the spine and let your head drop forward.
  5. Repeat for three to five breaths.

This stretch is adapted from the cat-cow stretch.


Seated Forward Bend

Seated forward bend

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Push your chair back from your desk.
  2. Bring both feet flat on the floor.
  3. Interlace your fingers behind your back.
  4. Straighten your arms as much as possible, drawing your interlaced fingers down.
  5. Fold at the waist, bringing your interlaced hands over your back.
  6. Rest your chest on your thighs and release your neck.

This stretch is adapted from the standing forward bend.


Seated Eagle

Seated eagle

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Cross your right leg over your left leg. If you can, wrap your right foot around your left calf.
  2. Take your arms out to either side, parallel to the floor.
  3. Bring the arms forward, crossing your left arm over the right one and bringing the palms to touch.
  4. Lift the elbows while keeping the shoulders sliding down your back.
  5. Repeat with the left arm over the right.

This stretch is adapted from eagle pose.


Seated Spinal Twist

Seated spinal twist

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Turn so you are sitting sideways in your chair.
  2. Bring both feet flat on the floor.
  3. Twist towards the back of the chair, holding the back of the chair with both hands.
  4. Turn yourself 180 degrees so you are facing the opposite side of the chair to do the twist on the other side.

This stretch is adapted from half lord of the fishes pose.


Wrist Stretch

Wrist stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Stand up.
  2. Turn your hands so that the insides of your wrists face your computer and your fingers face the edge of the desk.
  3. Lean away from your desk with your arms straight while flattening your palms as much as possible.
  4. Back off if you feel pain.

Standing Pigeon

Standing pigeon

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Stand up.
  2. Bring your right shin onto your desk parallel to the edge of the desk.
  3. Take a forward bend over your right leg, hinging at your hips.
  4. Repeat on the other leg.

This stretch is adapted from the pigeon pose.

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  1. Shariat A, Cleland JA, Danaee M, Kargarfard M, Sangelaji B, Tamrin SBM. Effects of stretching exercise training and ergonomic modifications on musculoskeletal discomforts of office workers: a randomized controlled trialBraz J Phys Ther. 2018;22(2):144–153. doi:10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.09.003