After a long day at the office, it’s challenging to find the time and motivation to exercise. Top that with gym memberships, a long commute and, if you have a family, household duties and child rearing, it’s no wonder most of Americans binge watch television every night. Fortunately, there’s a solution to improve your health with minimal time — stretching at work.
Stretching your neck is an easy way to release tension. Gently stretch from side to side and hold for 10 seconds. Do this up and down, slowly putting your chin close to your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Just make sure you don’t roll your neck. According to Weight Watchers, rolling your neck can place “too much stress on your neck and your cervical vertebrae, damage your spinal column, and add tension and stress to that area.”
If you’re sitting at your desk for most of the day, chances are you have a sore back. Stretching and sitting on an ergonomic chair like interstuhl will help ease back pain and provide much needed flexibility for your spine. You should also stretch!
Start by sitting in your chair and placing your hands on your lower back. Push your body forward as if creating a C shape. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. Remain in your chair and fold your right leg over your left. Twist your body to the left. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. If you want to stretch your back while standing, you can! Place your right hand on your waist and bend your body to the right while raising your arm over your head. These quick and easy stretches will loosen your back in no time.
Although the shoulders are often neglected, they are just as important to stretch as the rest of your body. Your shoulders carry every day stress and help you reach, lift and perform exercises. Flexible shoulders will increase your strength. Take it upon yourself to stretch your shoulders at work with the simple exercises in the diagram above.
Your fingers and wrists do most of the work at your 9 to 5. So why not take a few minutes to stretch your hands? Put your fingers together and pull back and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat as desired. The result will be hands and joints that are less sore, less stiff and much more relaxed. If you switch to a vertical computer mouse, you’ll feel that much better and ward off carpal tunnel all together.
Unless you have a sit-stand desk, you’re sitting at work every day, 30-40 hours per week. That’s a lot of sitting, which is harmful to your health. So get up! Stretch your legs. Use your seat and your chair to alleviate leg muscle soreness and stiffness. If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can even walk to lunch. There are really no excuses to improve your health at work and outside of the office.