This week’s post will talk you through how to release back tension for desk workers.

Watch the video below or continue reading, where we’ll explain some easy exercises you can do.


As you’ll likely to be aware, if you’re sat, you’ll probably end up slouching. This position can increase the tension in the upper back. Knowing a few exercises you can do sitting at your desk, can help regain or maintain your flexibility.



This exercise is very straight forwards. While sitting in a chair, which fixes the pelvis to a certain degree, you want to rotate your shoulders around to the left and right. Just rotating will only get you so far. You want to use something to help push/pull your shoulders around. Variation 1 on how to release tension for desk workers. Rotate the shoulders.

See the photo as an example: Rotate your upper body around to the right, place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh and your right hand on the back of the chair. Use both hands to increase the rotation to the right and hold for 5 seconds. Ease off and repeat 5-6 times before repeating in the opposite direction.

Combined – rotation and cat-camels

This variation involves a combination of different movements.

In this other blog/video we discussed the cat-camel movement (click the link to take you through). Sitting on the edge of your chair, arc your back and curl it into a C-shape and then arch in the opposite direction. 

Variation 2 on how to release tension for desk workers. Rotate the shoulders and add in a cat-camel..

You want to combine the rotation with the cat-camel movement. Rotate as discussed above and then add in 4-5 cat-camels. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Combined – rotations and side bends

For our third variation, it involves a different combination of movements. The movement you’re adding to the rotation is a side bend, so dipping your shoulders/upper body to the right and left. See the photo which shows the side-bend movement.

Rotate the shoulders to the right and side-bend to the right and left, 4-5 times, before rotating in the opposite direction and repeating.

Variation 3 on how to release tension for desk workers. Rotate the shoulders and add in a side-bend..

What you may find initially

These combined movements can be particularly awkward, especially when you first try them. It’s definitely worthwhile persevering with, as they’re really good at freeing up the back and taking the tension away.

How may repetitions

We’ve suggested repetitions for the movements above, but you may find you need to do more. For example, if you’re sitting for a long time during the day, you might need to increase the repetitions. The more you’re not moving, the stiffer everything becomes so the more exercises you’ll need to do to free everything up.

You’ll need to try the exercise for a good couple of weeks, if not longer, to see the difference.


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Remember – Listen to your Body!

Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.


As with all information given for exercises and exercise programs, when using our exercise videos or information, please use your common sense and don’t do anything that will hurt you. By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk. PhysioFit Health will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of information shared on our website or YouTube channel. This includes emails, videos and text. Thanks for your understanding.

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