Stretches at Work
Also, trending as deskercise *insert shrug emoji here*
Is your work physically demanding? Or is physically un-demanding? In either case, both types of demands or lack of demand on the body can be detrimental to your overall health and therefore, productivity. Research has shown that repetitive motion, poor posture, and staying in the same position for extended periods of time can cause or worsen certain musculoskeletal disorders. For those of us who work at a desk, work from our laptops on the bed, or even on the go in the car, it is important to create healthy desk habits. Poor desk habits can lead to shoulder pain, neck pain, obesity, stress, lower back pain, carpal tunnel, etc. This list can go on & on. The good news is that creating healthy habits at your desk. There is also a list that can go on & on for different exercises and habits to include. Here’s some! We’ll say it once and we’ll say it again. Set reminders to your phone or your laptop to take a quick stretch break.
Begin by raising your arm and bending it so that your hand touches your back. Use the other hand to pull your elbow towards your head. Hold for about 30 seconds with deep breaths in between. Make sure to switch to the other side.
This can be done either sitting or standing (the choice is yours!).
Clasp hands behind your back, push your chest outward with a raise in the chin. Hold for 30 seconds and make sure to keep breathing as you stretch. They are not mutually exclusive!
This stretch has a couple names - rhomboid upper or upper back stretch
Begin in a seated position and clasp hands in front of you. Begin to lower your head in line with your arms. Do not allow your chin to concave in too much where it is causing pain. Press forward and hold for 30 seconds. Breathe through it. Breeeeeeeeeeathe.
Hip and Knee Flexion Stretch
Start in a seated position on your chair and lean back into the chair. Hug one knee by bringing that knee to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and switch to the opposite leg. Don’t forget about that breathing.
We love a good hammy stretch. Extend one leg out and keep the other foot planted on the ground. We want to avoid any back issues, so please make sure to do this exercise one leg at a time. Doing this hamstring stretch with both feet extended can cause back issues that no one wants to deal with. Hold for 30 seconds and breathe. Repeat on other leg.
Stay seated and let your head naturally fall forward. Slowly roll each side from one to the other for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side and pay attention to letting your head flow naturally. With intention and at a slow pace, bring chin back to starting position. Do three times in each direction.
It’s up to you how you choose to prioritize and create your desk stretch routine. You do not have to complete these exercises each time, but it would be a good idea to incorporate them at least once a day. The impact of leisurely movement is profound, so try to get up every 30 minutes and walk around the office, room, house, etc. As we now more than ever, your health is everything.
For more, here is a 10 minute desk strecth routine.
October 20, 2020