10 Stretches You Can Do At Work
A majority of American workers (about 80 percent) work desk jobs or jobs that require little to no physical activity. Spending your days sitting at a desk can be a recipe for muscle soreness, stiffness and even pain. Doing work stretches throughout the day could relieve stiffness and muscles soreness.
To avoid the negative health effects of a sedentary job, it’s crucial to get your body moving. After every hour you spend at your desk, get up and move, whether it’s a quick walk around the office or simply a visit to the kitchen for a drink of water. Getting up from your desk gives your body a chance to reset. It gets your blood flowing and gives a quick boost to your metabolism.
In addition to getting up and moving regularly, take a few minutes two or three times per day to stretch and relieve any built-up muscle tension.
10 work stretches you can do with limited space.
Shoulder stretch. Place one hand under your elbow and lift your elbow, stretching it across your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat with the other arm.
Upper arm stretch. Lift one arm, bending it behind your head. Using your other hand to hold the bent elbow, gently press down until you feel a stretch in your upper arm/shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat with the other arm.
Forearm stretch. Extend your right arm in front of you with your palm facing forward and fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Using your left hand, gently pull the fingers on your right hand back toward you. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat with the other arm.
Chest stretch. Place both hands behind your head, with your elbows out. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing your elbows back as far as possible. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat.
Chin tuck. Facing straight ahead, lower your chin to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and feel the tension in the back of your neck release. Relax and repeat.
Head turn. Facing straight ahead, turn your head to one side, keeping your shoulders straight. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Turn your head to the other side and repeat.
Side neck stretch. Facing straight ahead, tilt your head, moving your ear toward your shoulder. Do not lift your shoulder to your ear. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Turn your head to the other side and repeat.
Lower back stretch. Sitting forward in your chair, bring one knee toward your chest. Grab the back of your thigh and gently pull it towards you. Keep your back straight, being careful not to lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat with the other leg.
Thigh stretch. Standing up straight, place one hand on your desk or chair for stability. Carefully grab one ankle and bring it up toward your buttock. Maintain an upright position, keeping your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds and relax. Repeat with the other leg.
Foot stretch. Sitting comfortably in your chair, place your right ankle on your left knee. Slowly circle your right ankle clockwise 20 times, then counterclockwise 20 times. Relax and repeat with the other foot.
It may feel awkward to do stretching exercises at work, but you’ll thank yourself when you begin to notice a difference in muscle tension and pain. Taking the time to stretch during the day can also boost your energy level and increase alertness. Next time you’re beginning to feel sluggish or stiff, take a break and do these stretches.