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My Favorite Anti Sitting Stretches

My Favorite Anti Sitting Stretches

Dr. Michelle Millner, PT, DPT, OCS


We sit. A lot. Unfortunately, humans are just not designed for sitting for prolonged periods of time. Sitting has been equated to the new smoking. Prolonged sitting leads to decreased blood flow, poor posture and resultant aches and pains. Consistent targeted exercise is the best way to combat the ill effects of prolonged sitting. Listed are my 2 favorite anti-sitting stretches.

1. Supine hip flexor stretch: Using a solid table or bed, lie on your back and slide all the way to the left. Hold your right knee to your chest as you gently lower your left leg towards the floor. You should feel a stretch across the front of your left leg and hip. Stay there for 30-90 seconds. Bring the left leg up and then move to the other side. Repeat on the other side.

2. Foam roller extensions. Place a foam roller (or a thick rolled up towel if you don’t have a foam roller) horizontally on the floor. Sit in front of the foam roller and lie back so that the roller is across your shoulder blades. Keep your hands behind your head to support your head. Lie back keeping your buttocks on the floor and creating a big stretch through your ribs, upper back and chest. Rock up and down gently, or hold for 30 seconds as tolerated.

These stretches move your body into the exact opposite of sitting; the first for the lower body, the second for the upper body. Both help alleviate tension caused by sitting too much.

If you have any other questions about how to combat the effects of prolonged sitting, please feel free to call or stop in and speak with one of physical therapists at 973-270-7417.



Image courtesy of Ambro /

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