5-Minute Office Stretch Routine to Boost Work Efficiency

With the increased use of computers and the internet in the past few decades, more people are leading sedentary lives on the job and at home, especially in office settings. While you may not be exposed to fellow office workers who smoke any longer, you can still be putting your health at risk by sitting down and not moving for long periods of time. Break up that routine by getting up and walking around periodically.

Another way that you can improve your circulation and overall health is by performing a few quick stretches at or near your desk. These stretches don’t take much time at all, and you can do them several times during the day if you like.

Here are several stretches that you can do in a few minutes that you can do while in the office to help give you energy and boost your work efficiency.

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#1 – Forward Fold

Begin in an upright standing position with your legs wider than hip-width apart and your toes slightly pointed outward. Interlace your fingers behind your back. Here we’re looking to stretch the hamstring areas. Straighten your arms and bend your upper body forward. Lower your arms down, folding them in front of your body. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Raise back up to return to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Forward Fold

Start with one set of 3 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity for this exercise is light.


#2 – Low Lunge Hold

Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders and hips. Take a big step back with one foot and drop your back knee down to the ground or hover it slightly above the floor. Bring your hips forward and extend your arms overhead. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Lower your arms and raise back up to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

Low Lunge Hold

Start with one set of 3 reps for each leg. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity for this exercise is light to moderate, especially if you are not bringing your knees completely down to the floor.


#3 – Desk Stretch

Begin in an upright sitting position with your feet flat on the floor and maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders and hips.  Place your hands at your sides. Engage your core and push from your hands to lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Desk Stretch

Start with one set of 3 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity for this exercise is light to moderate.


#4 – Back Stretch on the Wall

Begin in an upright standing position with your hands shoulder-width apart, either against the wall or on your desk and maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Move your feet back to increase the angle of your body. Looking for a stretch in your back and shoulder area, bend your upper body forward. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Raise back up to return to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Back Stretch on the Wall

Start with one set of 3 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity for this exercise is light.


#5 – Seated Twist

Begin in an upright sitting position with your feet flat on the floor and maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Place one hand on your opposite knee and the other hand behind your back. Contract your core then look back and twist your upper body to one side. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Seated Twist

Start with one set of 3 reps on each side. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity for this exercise is light.


#6 – Seated Hamstring Stretch

Begin in an upright sitting position, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders and hips. Straighten your legs out front, pointing your toes toward the ceiling. Here, you’re looking for a stretch in the back of your legs. Contract your core and bend your upper body forward to reach for your toes. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position slowly and repeat the movement.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Start with one set of 3 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity for this exercise is light.


#7 – Full Body Opener

Begin in an upright standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders and hips. Bend through your hips and knees to move into a deep squat, extending your arms back. Raise back up as you lift your arms overhead. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Full Body Opener 

Start with one set of 3 reps. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity for this exercise is light.

Give these seven stretches a try when you need a break when you are working at your desk for long periods of time.