5 Simple Microbreak Stretches to Fix the Damage Your Desk Job Does

These are some “get-off-your-seat” microbreak stretches. These stretches can help to keep you pain-free and healthy whether you are at home or the office, helping to get your circulation moving and decrease your sedentary time.

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#1 – Marching with Arm Circles

Begin in an upright standing position. Engage your core and move your arms in a small circular motion, progressing to bigger circles while statically marching your feet. Repeat the movement. You can reverse the arm motion if you like.

Marching with Arm Circles

Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement for about 20 seconds. The intensity is light, especially if you are just getting up from sitting. You can go at whatever pace you like. If you are experiencing arm pain, such as elbow or wrist pain, you can substitute a shoulder shrug for moving your arms. Just be sure to keep moving.


#2 – 3-step Jumping Jacks

Begin in an upright standing position, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Step to one side as you raise both hands overhead. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

3-step Jumping Jacks

Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement for about 20 seconds. The intensity is light.


#3 – Double Squats

Begin in an upright standing position with your legs slightly more than hip-width apart and your toes slightly pointed outward. Extend your arms in front of your body, ideally to shoulder-height. Bend your knees and hinge through your hips to move into a deep squat. Raise back up slightly, then lower your hips back down again, pulsing as you raise back up to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement.

Double Squats

Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement for about 20 seconds. The intensity is moderate.


#4 – Under the Fence Lunges

Begin in an upright standing position with your legs slightly more than hip-width apart and your toes slightly pointed outward. Engage your core. Bring your head down then bend your knees and hinge through your hips as you lunge your upper body to the side. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Under the Fence Lunges

Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement for about 20 seconds. The intensity is light. You can either place your hands on the front of your thighs for an easier workout or, for more of a challenge, sway your hands and arms in front of you as you go side to side. Stretch your arms as far as you can to each side and as close to the floor as possible without touching it.


#5 – Shoulder Stretch

Begin in an upright standing position maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Engage your core and pull your shoulders back, bringing your hands together behind you and stretching your shoulders.

Shoulder Stretch

Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement for about 20 seconds. The intensity is light. Make sure to take deep breaths as you do this cool-down stretch. You can increase the intensity by rolling your shoulder blades both backward and forward, which can help alleviate any shoulder pain you might have.

These “get-off-your-seat” microbreak stretches should help you feel more refreshed during your day. If possible, do them a couple of times per day, such as when you are on a break, to help you feel better throughout the day and help alleviate the damage that sitting at a desk all day can do. Don’t forget to get up.

If you want to lose weight, less stressed, be more motivated and excited about life, then check out the 11 Daily Stretches to Feel and Look Amazing program.