Desk exercises to improve posture

August 12, 2020

Throughout the day at the office, working at your desk, does your back and neck start hurting?  Chances are you could benefit from some desk exercises to improve your posture.

Or maybe you find yourself slouching so you sit yourself up straight, only to find that you’re slouching again a few minutes later.

This is very common.  It’s easy when you’re busy working to get focused on your work, and not so much on your posture.  So it’s helpful to have a few exercises you can do while sitting at your desk to give yourself a break and improve your posture.


Open the front of the chest

Spending hours at the desk, over your computer can lead to the shoulders rounding forward and the chest caving in.  So, it’s good to take breaks throughout the day and have movements that counteract the over-the-computer position.  Here’s a great one for that:

Sit at the edge of your chair seat, with your feet directly under your knees.

Woman seated at desk with hands reaching back to improve posture

Hold onto the back of the chair seat with your arms extended.  Move your upper arm and shoulders back to open up the front of the chest.  Look straight forward and keep your gaze at eye level. Lift the top of the ears upwards to lengthen the neck.  Spend a few moments here breathing softly to allow the opening in the chest to set in.

Woman seated at desk slouching

It’s NOT this.  Notice how my shoulders are rounding forward and my chest is collapsing.

Woman seated at desk with hands reaching back to open chest and improve posture

It’s this.  Depending on the style of chair your sitting in you can either place your hands behind the back of the chair seat or hold onto the outer frame of the chair.

Do this as many times throughout the day.  It’s an easy position to take when you’re contemplating about your next task.


Open the Shoulders

This one is great to open up the shoulders and help release the neck.

With your palms together, place your elbows on the edge of the desk.  Step your feet back until they’re under your hips.  Move your chest towards the floor.  If your hamstrings or back of the legs are tight, bend your knees.  Keep the head lifted so the ears are in line with your upper arms.  Spend a few moments here breathing smoothly.

Woman doing desk exercise to improve posture

You can also move your hands towards the back.  Keeping your palms together move the thumbs to the upper back, in between the shoulder blades.



These are two simple exercises you can do at your desk to help counteract the effects of sitting at your desk for long periods of time.  They’re easy, only take a moment to do, and can be done when in need of quick relief.  And of course, get up, take a walk around and get some movement in your body as much as possible.