Why it’s so important to stretch when WFH – and some simple moves to try

Anyone else slumped over their laptop right now?

While working from home most certainly has its perks – like the nine days we’ve saved from not commuting this year – there are some downsides, too, such as a lack of proper office equipment.

Without a professional office setup, we can find ourselves slouching in front of our screens. And without a communal kitchen or office corridors (where we’d usually go to chat to collegues), working from home can often mean we are stuck in the same position all day.

The result? Some pretty achy muscles and stiff joints.

Similarly, if you’ve looked at your step count recently you’ll be aware we are moving a lot less than we used to. We may not be able to leave the house (apart from for essential shopping or exercise) but we still need to move just as much.

Because we’re not as active when we are WFH, it’s important to prioritise some daily stretches – and five minutes is all it takes.

Trainer Luke Worthington tells Metro.co.uk: ‘During periods of work from home we can absolutely keep up with our purposeful exercise. However, it’s our “background activity” levels that decrease: walking around the office, the daily commute, grabbing lunch/coffee.

‘We need to therefore be much more conscious of maintaining range of motion in our major joints (two hips and two shoulders).’

But stretching not only has physical benefits it has psychological ones, too.

Personal trainer Chloe Twist, who works for OriGym, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Stretching has many physical and mental benefits when it is done regularly, and it is therefore a useful tool if you are looking to boost your motivation, productivity, and overall wellness whilst working at home.

‘Whether you are suffering from neck, back or lower body pain and stiffness or just looking for a way to increase your focus and de-stress, there are a variety of dynamic and static stretching exercises that you can perform.’

Chloe has shared some simple stretches for different areas of the body…


‘For the lower body, static quad and hamstring stretches paired with walking lunges and side shuffles will get the blood flowing to your muscles and reduce the likelihood of things like cramp and restless leg syndrome occurring from extended periods of inactivity. ‘

Upper back and neck

‘If you tend to suffer with any aching or pain in your neck and upper back, a simple upper back stretch such as clasping your hands together and extending your arms out in front of you (so that your shoulder blades are parted) can help to alleviate this.’


‘You can also try stretching out your upper back, shoulders and chest by extending your arms (clasped together) out behind your back whilst standing, and gently pushing your chest forwards and your shoulders back until you feel some resistance.’

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