Seated Desk Exercises to Help Your Back Pain

Odds are, you or someone you know sits all day for work. Whether seated at a desk, driving all day, or a combination of the two, sometimes sitting for prolonged periods of time can't be avoided.

It is known that our bodies are meant to move. Mobility is the key to a healthy body. 

Being in a static position for a long time often comes with aches and pains. Your joints and muscles crave movement and when they're sitting still for too long they start to tell you this in the only way they know how.. PAIN. 

I know what you're thinking... "I have to sit at a desk all day .. it's my job." This is definitely the case with some individuals. That being said, this blog post is for you. The following exercises can all be performed at your desk to help avoid aches and pains from sitting all day. 

This routine can be performed about 3 times throughout the work day or simply as needed. You can perform it more frequently if you are already having back pain. 

1. Seated Pelvic Tilt

In a sitting position, imagine your pelvis like a bowl and try to dump everything out the front and then dump everything out the back. You'll be rounding your low back, back and forth. Really try to get the movement from the lowest part of you back. This area of your back tends to stiffen up in a seated position. 
No need to hold these positions any longer than 2-3 seconds, simply cycle through, back and forth about 10 times to get things moving. 

pelvis .png

2. Seated Hip Stretch  

Cross one ankle over the opposite thigh, push your knee down and lean forward until your feel a stretch in your bum. This one can be help for 30 seconds and repeated 3 times. Stretch to the point of slight discomfort but not pain! 

seated hip .png

3. Touch Your Toes

Bend over to touch your toes and allow your upper body to relax over your legs. Try to round your back as much as possible to feel the stretch all the way from your neck down to your low back. Hold for about 3 seconds and repeat 10 times. 

touch toes .jpeg

4. Mid Back Extension

Place your elbow on your desk and roll your chair out to allow your head to fall between your arms. Hold for about 3 seconds and repeat 10 times. 

5. Neck Stretch

Place a closed fist on your chest and rest your chin on it. Use the other hand to pull the back of your head forward to feel a stretch in the back of the neck. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. 


Frequent walks are also great to reset the body however, we're aware that this is not always possible. 

Simple tips to incorporate small walking/standing breaks include: 

  • Using that farthest printer in the office 
  • Using the farthest washroom in the building 
  • Standing during meetings or better yet have walking meetings 
  • Using a sit/stand desk 
  • Stand while having your coffee break 


We hope this helps bring awareness to the importance of moving for your physical health. Sitting can be inevitable at times, so we need to do our best to incorporate movement any way we can! 

Share this article with your fellow all-day-sitters! 

Courtney PostmaComment