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7 Life-Changing Stretches For People Who Sit All Day

Written by Liz Brown

If you have a 9-5 job or happen to spend a little too much time on your bum, these 7 life-changing stretches for people who sit all day will relieve pain, correct poor posture, and boost longevity.

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Americans are notorious for being sedentary compared to the rest of the world—what’s worse is that 86% of Americans sit all day at their jobs, making it difficult to meet the minimum physical activity requirements each day. Sitting for long periods of time will not only increase your risk of becoming overweight, but too much sitting can actually have adverse effects on your health, mobility, and posture. Yikes!

If you have a 9-5 job or happen to spend a little too much time on your bum, not to worry—I’m sharing 7 life-changing stretches for people who sit all day that will relieve pain, correct poor posture, and boost longevity. So, in the words of James Brown, it’s time to “Get up off of that thang!”, learn how to stay active with a desk job, and prioritize some workplace exercise!🍑 

workplace exercise. stretches for sitting all day

Side Effects Of Too Much Sitting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works an average of 8.8 hours per day, commutes an average of 26.9 minutes, and watches television an average of 5 hours—that’s over 14 hours of sitting every single day! Unfortunately, your body won’t let this much sitting go unnoticed. 

Here are some physical side effects of sitting too much:

RELATED: How To Fix Bad Posture With 11 Simple Exercises

stretches for people who sit all day. Woman sitting at desk with back pain

7 Stretches For Sitting All Day

It’s hard to believe that something as simple and mindless as sitting can have such negative repercussions on our health and bodies. Thankfully, there are simple stretches you can do that can prevent, and in some cases reverse, the side effects of sitting too much. Here are 7 simple stretches for people who sit sit all day.

1. Hip Flexor Stretch


hip flexor stretch

This is, hands down, one of my favorite stretches for sitting all day. It’s simple, extremely effective, and boy does it feel great! Here’s how to do it:

Why you need it: 

Your hips are responsible for articulating major movement patterns like sitting and standing through flexion and extension. When you sit, your hips are in constant flexion—meaning, the muscles in your hips (the iliacus and psoas major) are contracted for an extended period of time. Constant hip flexion can cause these muscles to tighten which places excessive pressure on your joints. This can result in hip pain and restricted range of motion.

2. Cat-Cow


Holy cat-cow, what an incredible stretch! The cat-cow is the ultimate spine stretch that releases tension in the neck, shoulders, and in the upper and lower back. It even helps stretch your abs, hips, and chest. Here’s how to do it:

Why you need it: 

Sitting in an upright position for long periods of time will add immense pressure on your spine as time goes on. This stretch gives your intervertebral discs some much needed space and room to breathe and increases the flexibility in your back and neck.

3. Sphinx / Cobra


The sphinx and cobra stretch aim to elongate your body by stretching the back, chest, abdomen, and hips. Additionally, this stretch opens up the lungs, stimulates the abdominal organs, and improves digestion. Here’s how to do it:

Why you need it: 

Sitting for extended periods of time can create tightness in the hip flexors as well as the upper and lower back. It also constricts the abdominal organs and creates tension in the shoulders. Performing the sphinx or cobra stretch temporarily places your body in an opposing position and opens up the front of your body. 

RELATED: 10 Most Common Workout Mistakes People ALWAYS Make & How To Fix! [From A CPT]

4. Shoulder/ Chest Opener


shoulder/chest opener stretch

If you sit at a computer all day this simple workplace exercise can quickly transform your posture. Here’s how to do it:

Why you need it: 

Over time, typing on a keyboard can cause the muscles in your chest to contract, forcing your shoulders to round forward. Rounded shoulders can cause pain and weakness in the upper back, tightness in the chest and shoulders, and causes a postural imbalance called thoracic kyphosis (a condition commonly known as “hunchback”).

5. Figure 4 Stretch


seated figure 4 stretch

This stretch can be completed either standing or sitting, it’s up to you. For simplicity, I’ll explain the stretch from the sitting position but the process also applies to the standing version. Here’s how to do it:

Why you need it: 

There’s a muscle deep in your glutes called the piriformis. This muscle is behind your gluteus maximus and runs diagonally from the lower spine to the upper surface of your femur, with the sciatic nerve running beneath it and through the muscle. Prolonged sitting can cause atrophy (muscle loss) and tightness in the piriformis and adds extra pressure to the sciatic nerve which can cause lower back pain.   

6. Child’s Pose


Child's pose stretch for sitting all day

Despite its name, this stretch isn’t only for children. In fact, this stretch is not only beneficial for improving shoulder mobility, but it’s also a calm and relaxing. Here’s how to do it:

Why you need it: 

Child’s pose lengthens your spine and stretches the latissimus dorsi. This muscle, also known as the lats, is the largest muscle in your back and will benefit greatly from this stretch. Similarly, this stretch helps to loosen up the hips and groin area, increase circulation and blood flow, and improve range of motion in the chest and shoulders.

7. Neck Stretch (2-ways)


neck stretch for sitting

Sitting at a computer can trigger a lot of tension in the neck. These stretches for sitting all day can be done quickly and easily at your computer but have a huge payoff. Here’s how to do it:

Why you need it: 

The sternocleidomastoid muscle is one of the largest muscles in your neck. This muscle is primarily responsible for rotating the head to the opposite side as well as flexion of the neck (looking up). Sitting for long periods of time can add tension to this muscle which can cause neck pain and restricted mobility. Similarly, excess tension of the muscles on the back of your neck, called the trapezius muscles (also known as traps) can cause tension headaches.  

Two women stretching while drinking collagen powder

The Bottom Line On Workplace Exercise

Whether you’re in a classroom or work in an office, you will benefit from these stretches for people who sit all day. These simple stretching techniques can prevent, and in some cases reverse, the side effects of sitting too much! 

Another way to decrease joint pain and stiffness from sitting all day is to take a daily collagen supplement, like SkinnyFit Super Youth. Type II collagen and Type X collagen are both found in Super Youth and is shown to reduce popping knees, supports back, jaw and joints, improves joint strength and elasticity, and makes up the connective tissue of organs. This is crucial for the repair and maintenance of the body. To learn more about how collagen can improve mobility and joint health, check out Collagen For Joints.

Now, don’t just sit there… get to stretching! 

READ NEXT: 10 Best Yoga Poses To Improve Sleep Quality

SkinnyFit Super Youth

About The Author

Liz Brown

Fitness & Nutrition Expert (CPT., FNS.)

Liz is a health & wellness expert, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the fitness & nutrition industry. She emphasizes research and simplifies complex topics to help make healthy living simple and sustainable. When she isn't researching and writing, she's sharing delicious recipes, easy DIYs, and home decor tips on her blog and social media.

More from Liz, visit: Personal Blog, TikTok, Instagram


  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer(since 2012)
  • NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (since 2014)
  • Credentialed Coach Practitioner, Coach Training Academy
  • B.A. Liberal Studies (Health & Nutrition Sciences)
  • A.A. Liberal Arts (STEM)

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