Stretches for the Office

Published August 30th, 2016 by Dr. Markson

By now, you've heard, seen, read, etc. about how sitting all day is bad for you. Quitting your job is obviously not a realistic option, and standing desks aren't exactly affordable. Instead, here are some quick stretches you can do right at your desk to keep your muscles moving and to avoid the aches and pains from having your body in a sitting position all day:

Wrist Stretches

Every hour, roll your wrists clockwise and counterclockwise 10 times. Then expand your fingers as wide as possible for 5 seconds then clench them into a fist. Repeat this 5 times. This will help your fingers and your arms avoid carpal tunnel.

Neck Stretches

While still sitting at your desk, drop your chin to your chest. Then slowly rotate your head in a circle, moving toward your right shoulder, then toward your back, and then toward your left shoulder. Repeat this motion 3-5 times and do not over extend your neck. If it feels to tight, go nice and slow and keep your shoulders relaxed. 

Next, inhale deeply and lift your shoulders toward your ears, hold them for a few seconds, then drop them down. Repeat this 3 times and afterward move your head from left to right slowly to relax the neck.

Back Stretches

While sitting, put your hands on the edge of your desk and slowly push your chair back until you are looking at the floor. Bring yourself back in slowly and repeat this 10 times. 

You can do this next one standing or sitting (up to you). Raise both your hands above your head and interlock your fingers, aiming your palms toward the ceiling. Raise your head, chin up, toward the ceiling. Keep your shoulders relaxed and remember to breath in and out. Hold this for 10 seconds, reaching as high as you feel comfortable.

Shoulder Stretches

While standing, raise your right arm in front of you. Place your left hand under your right elbow and lightly pull your elbow across your chest. Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds and then do the same thing with your left arm.

Next, raise your right arm above your head and bend it behind your head. Use your left hand to lightly pull your elbow down and to the left. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then repeat with your left arm.

Finally, clasp your hands behind your back. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed while raising your head and your chest. Do not over exert yourself. Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds. 

Leg Stretches

While sitting, roll your chair away from your desk and put your right foot up on the desk. Sit up straight and slowly reach for your foot on the desk. Flex and point your foot and hold for about 10 seconds. Then switch to the other leg.

Stand up, hold the back of your chair with one hand and then grab your right ankle and pull it up toward your bottom. Be sure to keep your back straight and your knees parallel to each other. Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds and then repeat for the other leg. 

For more tips and stretches to increase your mobility and avoid the damage of sitting all day, give us a call.

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