Sitting at your desk all day can seem harmless however, that’s not the case at all. In fact, it can be quite damaging to your health, but don’t stress out, STRETCH out!
Doing methodical, at-your-desk exercises and stretches throughout the day, can help decrease your risk of several health issues, some of which include:
- Back pain
- Neck strain
- Carpal tunnel
Think for a moment… how many hours a day do you sit? Whether it’s at your desk, in the car, on the couch, etc. Now add the hours that you sleep. That adds up to a lot of immobility.
So, take a moment every so often to move another part of your body and do stretches. Some of which you can do WHILE working! The little changes here and there, can go a long way in keeping you healthy and happy. Read on for some of the techniques I’ve compiled for you.
Try these simple techniques at your desk. Your body will thank you!
1. Heads will roll
Sit up tall and slowly rotate your head all around by dropping it down and rolling it around to the side, to the back, the other side and forward again. Repeat in the other direction.
Ok, so you’re not playing football but you are tapping your feet the way they do during training. This one is super simple. Just stay seated and rapidly tap your feet as if you’re running in place for 30 seconds at a time. Start out with small taps, low to the floor. Try to increase your speed as you progress and you can also lift up your legs higher off the floor for more of a challenge.
3. Armed but not dangerous
Stretch your right arm towards your left side keeping your arm at chest level. Use your left arm to hold your stretched arm for 5-10 seconds. Repeat for the left arm.
Interlace your fingers in front of you then turn them palms out like you’re pushing someone away. As you inhale, slowly raise your interlaced hands up towards the ceiling and exhale as you hold for 5 seconds.
5. Shrug it out
It’s that simple. Do methodical shrugs where you raise your shoulders up. Hold it for 5 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times. For a deeper stretch, do one shoulder at a time and you can also lightly roll your shoulders back and forth.
6. Be nosy
Keeping your body in place, take a look around! What’s happening to the right and to the left? What’s happening behind you? Repeat as needed.
7. Hello there neighbor!
Lift your right arm over your head and stretch to the left for 5-10 seconds. Maybe give a wave to your office neighbor. Release and repeat with the other side.
8. Unclench stress
By clenching your glutes! Just clench your tush muscles and hold for 5-10 seconds, release and repeat.
Stretch your legs forward and point your toes. Rotate your ankles slowly 5 times and release. Repeat in sets of 5, towards and then away from each other.
10. Sit out the plank
Sit at the edge of your chair with your feet on the floor, knees bent. Then lift one leg, straight and parallel to the floor. Hold it for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other leg. Alternate between both legs 5 times.
You can also do both legs at once. Lift them both up straight and parallel to the floor. Slowly lower them to about an inch or two from the floor and hold for 5-10 seconds.
Always remember, you know your body. You know when you’re pushing too much or not enough. Start these stretches at an easy pace and slowly challenge yourself to more sets and longer holds. You’ll feel better, less stressed and strained, and you’re helping maintain the healthy balance between mobility and lack thereof.