My Favourite Pilates Stretches if you're sitting for too long

It's been a while since Niels Diffrient designed the Freedom chair so why are we still sitting in crappy chairs at work?
We know that prolonged sitting in one position is no good at your desk, on the train or in your car but the notion of modern ergonomics is still a low priority in most workplaces.

Here are twelve of my favourite super-stretchy exercises, shared by a registered physiotherapist at Personal Best Physiotherapy and Pilates.

These simple stretches help to keep those stiff muscles moving during my road trip to New York last winter.


Neck Rolls
Tip ear to shoulder, then drop chin to chest and roll to the other side. Back and forth. 10 reps.

Neck Stretch
Rotate head to one side, drop chin to chest, grab with same side arm at base of skull, pull up to stretch. Hold 10-15 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Backward shoulder rolls. 10 reps.

Ribcage mobilization
Press ribcage side to side, then front to back sticking chest out and dropping chest back. Add "bowl roll" if you want, keeping the movement in a smooth circle.

Hip "Bowl Roll"
Knee Rolls: Feet together, hands on knees. Circle knees.

Ankle Rolls: One foot at a time, move from tippy toes to balls of feet back and forth.

Hold these stretches 1--15 sec, 2-3 times.


Pull knee to butt. Point knee to floor.

Press hips/pelvis forward in a deep lunge. Alternate raised feet using a stair or step stool, for example.

 With one leg straight, sit tall and lean forward. Press sit-bones back.

Keep back heel on ground.

Figure 4 Stretch
Cross ankle over knee. Sit tall and lean forward.

Backward Bend
Feet apart. Stand with hands on buttocks. Abs are tight. Press hips forward. Repeat 5-10 times, no hold.

Share these twelve simple moves with friends and colleagues.

If you find yourself frequently in a jam on Bayview Avenue, there's always a yoga class and the calming voice of Joanne Lowe at the Big Stretch. Some Hatha yoga will keep those muscles moving even with your eyes closed.

Keep it fluid !