nurse sitting upright on chair to protect back at work

Quick Stretches to Protect Your Back at Work

We always advise people to take breaks when they are working at a desk or on a laptop. We also tell you to stretch. However, many people do not know what stretches they should be doing. Since working at a desk often leads to neck and back pain, many people focus on stretching their necks and backs. However, all of your body parts are connected. When you are sitting, many of your major muscle groups are in a shortened position. Doing all of the following stretches can help you avoid pain and protect your back at work.

Sit Up Straight

While sitting up straight is not a stretch, it is important. Most of us have a tendency to slump. When we slump, we round our shoulders forward, which forces us to look up. The constant looking up shortens neck muscles and can decrease the space between the joints in your neck. Sit up straight to keep that from happening.


Your hamstrings are the large muscles in the back of your thighs. You can stretch them by standing and crossing one foot in front of the other. Slowly lower your forehead to the knee of the top leg, keeping both knees straight. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.

Hip Flexors

Hip flexors are key to keeping your back in good condition. To stretch yours, start by kneeling on the floor. Put one leg in front of you, with that foot flat on the floor. Contract your glutes and tuck your pelvis under you. Then, shift your weight forward. You should feel a stretch in the groin and thigh of your rear leg.


Stretching your neck is easy. Tuck your chin and rotate your head toward each ear. You can use your hand to provide gentle force to deepen the stretch.


Stretching your arms can help you protect your back and your wrists at work. Extend one arm in front of you, palm facing away from you and fingers pointing down. Use the other hand to gently pull your fingers towards you. You should feel the stretch in your whole arm.