Adults spend the majority of their time at work. And what are the odds that it would mean you are spending at least four hours sitting in front of a computer?
Sitting for hours may not seem like a bad thing. But it can lead to poor posture, sore shoulders, and backaches. And if you think that hunching your back for a couple of hours is okay, think again.
Improper sitting posture can cause tightness in the back, neck, and shoulders. It can also cause headaches.
Fortunately, studies have shown that regular stretching can significantly reduce these issues. Here’s why:
Stretching Refreshes You
Although stretching might take your time away from work, it will enhance your productivity in the long run.
At Maid Sailors Hoboken Cleaning Service, we always tell our clients to keep their workspace clean. Doing so can help them focus better on their work.
Other than that, taking frequent stretching breaks throughout the day helps revitalize the mind.
It Makes You Feel Less Tired
If you suffer from post-lunch drowsiness, rather than going for that usual coffee fix, why not do stretching instead?
Stretching increases the blood flow in your joints and muscles, something that happens when you’re working out.
So, make sure that you schedule little stretching breaks in between each time you feel drowsy.
Stretching Feels Great
Sure, stretching may be uncomfortable at first, especially if you are not used to doing it. But you’ll get better at it if you keep on doing regular stretches every day.
However, we don’t advise that you stretch up to the point wherein you feel intense discomfort.
You also have to be careful when stretching in the office. That’s because you’re loosening cold muscles, which are more susceptible to injury.
Easy Stretches You Can Do at Your Office Desk
Now that you know about the beautiful benefits of stretching, we’ll walk you through seven easy stretching exercises that you can do at work:
1. Shoulder release
Your shoulders can get tight from hours of slouching on your desk.
This stretch usually follows a clock’s hour markers. To start, you need to stand with your left shoulder right next to a wall. Then, straighten your left arm up, your palm facing the wall.
Next is to start moving your arm slowly behind you, as if you’re driving on every hour in the clock, 12-6.
Finally, turn and repeat this on the right arm.
2. Chest stretch
Stretching both the chest and shoulders is also one of the best exercises that you can do, especially if you’ve spent hours hunched at your desk.
You can do this stretching exercise whether you are standing or seated. Take your arms behind you, and if possible, interlace your fingers together.
Ensure to straighten the arms and gently lift them a couple of inches until you feel a stretch in your chest area.
Stay still for at least 30 seconds. If you have shoulder problems, you might skip this exercise altogether.
Alternatively, you can also use a resistance band, holding it overhead. Or place your forearms on either side of the doorway, pressing it forward until you feel a stretch in your chest.
3. Triceps stretch
To do this stretch, place one arm up, bending your elbow so that the underside of your arm faces outward.
Then use your opposite arm, pushing your elbows back until you feel a stretch in your triceps muscle.
Keep this position for 30 seconds at least. Repeat it 3-5 times on each arm.
4. Seated twist
Sit on your chair, keeping the spine long and tall. Then, put your right arm on the outer edge of your left knee.
Use your hands to leverage a twist on the left portion of your body. Put your left hand as far to the right so that you’ll have something that you can hold on to when twisting.
Then, try to synchronize this with your breath. Exhale every time you move with your twist and slowly inhale as you ease off. Repeat the same thing on the left side. Repeat this on every side about 2-3 times.
This simple stretch can be a great release on your neck, back, and shoulders. It also rinses out the internal organs, giving you a little boost of energy that you need.
5. Arm pulses
Arm pulses work out your triceps while stretching your shoulders at the same time. Stand up with your arms by your side and the palms facing behind.
Then, start to gently pulse the arms backward for about 20 seconds while keeping the arms long and straight as much as you can.
6. Neck stretch
Tension in the neck eventually leads to headaches and tension in the upper back. Most people drop their heads forward when working on the computer, which, in turn, stretches the neck muscles.
To do neck stretches, sit on the chair, reach down your right hand while grabbing the right side of the chair.
Slowly tilt your head to your left as you feel a stretch on the right side of the neck and shoulder.
Hold this for about 10-30 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
7. Hip flexor stretch
Prolonged periods of sitting shortens and tightens the hip flexors. Usually, this runs from the pelvis to the back. So, when this muscle is tight, it presents symptoms of an achy back.
To stretch this muscle while sitting at your desk, try to sit at the edge of your chair. But then, shift, so you’re facing the left.
Next, take your right leg and extend it behind you. Keep the knees straight.
Sit tall so that you can lift the sternum while tucking in the tailbone, which will deepen the stretch.
Repeat on the other side. Ideally, try to do this on both sides about 2-3 times.
The key here is to be aware if you have been sitting in the wrong posture for long. From there, you can try out these stretches that are specifically tailored for you to do on your desk. Doing so can help relieve any aches and pains while working.
Meredith Davis has years of experience as a content writer, helping businesses promote their products and services through storytelling. She is also a certified Mindful-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practitioner, a mindfulness practice that helps manage stress.