According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is one of the leading reasons for missed work. In fact, half of working Americans have back pain each year.

What’s the reason for all of this back pain? The ACA says that injuries, arthritis, obesity and poor posture are some of the sources to blame. Thankfully, if you work at a desk there are some ways you can relieve back pain right from your chair.

We’ve put together five desk exercises you can do every day in order to loosen up and relieve your back pain. These exercises are great to do in the mornings and afternoons to stretch and refocus. Trust us, your back will thank you.

1. Lower Back Stretch

Start by sitting in your chair and with your knees spread apart. Bend down to the floor letting your arms rest between your legs. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower back. Hold each stretch for 5 seconds and repeat this 10 times. Do 2 of these sets.

2. Lumbar Rotation

If you’ve been looking at a computer for hours, this exercise is great for relieving pressure on your spine. Cross your arms over your chest and rotate your trunk from side to side. Make sure to perform small, gentle small motions. This exercise should be pain-free and not too forceful. Repeat this 5 times and do 10 sets.

3. Leg Lift

As you know, the spine is central to all body movements. This is why it’s important to work other muscle groups to improve back pain. For the leg lift, place your palms on your thighs and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your right knee to the ceiling and hold it for 5 seconds then lower. Repeat the leg lift on the other side. Do this 10 times.

4. Upper Trapezius Stretch

We know, this one sounds a little like a stunt at the circus, but it’s actually a great way to improve spine flexibility. Place your right hand on the left side of your head. Place your left hand behind your back. With your right hand, tilt your head to the right with a gentle stretch. Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat on the other side. Repeat this 10 times and do 2 sets.

5. Levator Scapula Stretch

This last exercise is another great one for stretching the spine. Place your left hand on your left shoulder blade. Place your right hand on your head and stretch your head down and away towards the right. Hold this for 5 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Repeat this stretch 10 times and do 2 sessions.

Want to know more?

These stretches and exercise are a great starting point for anyone looking to loosen up at work and relieve the pressure on your back. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you improve your back pain and posture, stop by our physical therapy page here.

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