5 Chair Exercises and Stretches to Reduce Back Pain and Stiffness

When I worked in an office, I used to take so many breaks throughout the day to stretch and move. My lunch break walks were non-negotiable.


Nowadays, almost every office has a lounge or conference room that’s empty most of the time. I’m sure you can find some space where you can do your daily stretches or strengthening exercises.

And here’s a tip: If you work in a building, the stairs are like the best space for stretching. Almost nobody uses the stairs these days and the higher you go the less likely you’ll find someone using them. I remember even meditating there hahaha


I used the stairs in the afternoons (most people get tired in the afternoon and are even less likely to use the stairs), and used the conference rooms between 9 am and 11 am because most meetings were scheduled in the afternoons (I avoided lunch breaks and just that time for my daily walks).


When I couldn’t do any of those things, I did my routines in the washroom. One of those routines I share inside the Back Pain Bootcamp (Posture Therapy #2). I LOVE that routine because you can do it standing and all you need is a wall.


Let’s make something clear. You have to find a way to move your body throughout the day. If you’re willing, you’ll find a way…

but I understand if someday you just have to stay in to meet a deadline or can’t get away from your desk…in this case, today’s video will help.


I’m sharing 5 different mobility exercises and stretches to reduce back pain and stiffness. You’ll mobilize your spine and also activate your deep core muscles without leaving your desk. Again, this is for desperate days only…I still want you to get up and move!

What You’ll Need

You want to make sure your lower back is stable in the first and second exercise, so make sure you add a firm pillow or a foam roller behind you as demonstrated in the video.

It just helps to maintain good form.

PS: check out the Back Pain Bootcamp here – the #1 fitness program designed for people with back pain, sciatica, and piriformis syndrome.

5 Chair Exercises And Stretches to Reduce Back Pain and Stiffness

Chair Exercises Breakdown and tips:

  • Thoracic extensions: Breath deeply here. Make sure you’re not using your lower back to start the movement.
  • Thoracic rotations: Focus on the middle part of this movement and not on forcing yourself to rotate.
  • 90-degree stretch: Don’t force your legs to straighten up. You can keep them slightly bent and as you disengage your shoulders, your body will fall deeper into the stretch.
  • Calves stretch: if you’re standing to do your work, don’t forget to stretch your calves.
  • Hip squeezes: I have a step-by-step blog post about this pelvic exercise. One of my favorites to engage your inner core muscles while sitting.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s video! If you have a video request, please comment below and let me know 🙂 I read ALL comments on my blog.