Michelle Rex Murphy, MS, OTR/L, CEAS, REAS, ergonomics specialist for Mass General Brigham, shares these quick stretches to do throughout the day. She says:

  • Stretch anytime you feel tired, stressed, tense or tight but make sure that at least every 30 minutes you stretch for 2 to 3 minutes
  • It is most important to stretch by reversing the position you have been in. For instance, if you have been sitting forward, try to extend backward
  • The stretches should not cause pain, but you may feel a strong stretching sensation
  • Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times
Neck Relaxer: Drop head slowly to the left, trying to touch left ear to left shoulder. Repeat on right. Slowly drop chin to chest, turn head all the way to the left, then turn all the way to the right.

Head Glide: Without lifting your chin, gently push your chin out and pull your chin in like you have a double chin. Hold to the count of 15.

Shoulder Roll: Slowly roll your left shoulder backward in a circular motion. Then roll your left shoulder forward. Repeat with opposite shoulder.

Leg Lift Stretch: Sit in the middle of your seat so that your back is not touching the backrest. Keep your back straight. Place your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your leg straight, lift your foot off the floor. Return your foot to the floor. Repeat with opposite foot.

Middle and Upper Back Stretch: Lift your right arm up to shoulder level. Hold your right arm just above the elbow. Gently pull your right arm toward your left shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with opposite arm.

Ankle Stretch: Raise one foot off the floor with your leg straight. Alternate between pointing your toes up while gently pushing your heel out and pointing your toes down. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat with opposite foot.

Back/Side Stretch: Sit straight up. With palms facing up, lift your arms overhead and gently push upward. Slowly lean to your left, back to the middle, then to your right.

Leg and Hip Stretch: Keep your back straight. Grasp your left knee with both hands. Gently bring your knee toward your chest. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with opposite knee.

Wrist Stretch: Keep right elbow straight. Bend right wrist. Place left hand over top of right hand and pull right hand back toward you. Now turn right palm so it is facing up. Use left hand to pull left hand back toward you. Repeat with opposite hand.