Long periods of sitting, hunched over a computer, typing furiously, can affect your entire body. It can tighten most of the muscles throughout most of the front of your body causing reduced hip mobility, tight lower back muscles, neck strain as those muscles try to correct the imbalance. This results in poor posture as the body is pulled forward and off balance, weakening your abdominal muscles, putting strain on the lower back muscles and causing stress to other bones and muscles. The good news is that there are a few simple stretches that will stop your body from seizing up.
So here are my top five stretches every office worker, new mum (to counter the effects of hours sat down feeding your baby), or sofa dweller should do to counter the damage…
(1.) Door Way Chest Stretch
This stretch is amazing for opening up the front of your shoulders, helping to improve your posture.
While standing in a doorway, place your arms up on the door frame and place one foot forward through the doorway. Next, bend your front knee until a stretch is felt along the front of your chest and/or shoulders. Your forearms should be along the door frame and your upper arms horizontal to the ground.
Take some deep breaths there and hold the stretch for around 30 seconds to one minute. Breathe gently into it and don’t push to your maximum. You can do this 1-3 times per day.
(2.) Pilates Wall Roll Down
This stretch will open up and stretch all the muscles down your back.
Begin by standing with your feel hip-width apart and your legs and feet should be parallel to each other. Let your arms relax and gently pull your belly button back to your spine so that your abdominal muscles are contracted and therefore supporting your lower back. Inhale here and as you exhale tuck your chin in and slowly peel your spine away from the wall behind you and drop down curling through your spine. You will need to bend your knees slightly so you don’t strain your lower back as you roll down as far as you can comfortably go. Inhale again at the bottom and tighten your abdominals again and then slowly roll up through your lower, into your middle and then upper back until you are standing up straight again. Repeat 3-5 times.
(3.) Hip Stretch
This stretch is fantastic for opening up your hips and improving your posture, allowing you to stand up straight.
Kneel on the floor and bring your right knee up so the bottom of your foot is on the floor and extend your left leg out behind you so the top of your foot is on the floor.
Shift your weight forward, keeping your shoulders back, until you feel a stretch in the back hip. Hold for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. You can do this 1-3 times per day.
(4.) Seated Neck Stretch
This stretch will loosen your neck muscles, which take a lot of the strain throughout the day when you are hunched over your screen.
Start by sitting up tall on the edge of your office chair with your shoulders back. Put your right hand on the edge of the chair (this holds your shoulder down), and use your left hand to rest on the right hand side of your head and very gently pull your head across to the side stretching the right side of your neck.
It is really important that you don’t overstretch here and just let the muscles relax gently for 30 seconds. You can do this 1 to 3 times per day.
(5.) Seated Side Bend Stretch
This soothing yoga stretch will loosen the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back but it is also designed to help you relax your mind, and relieve stress and anxiety.
Start by sitting up tall on the edge of your office chair with your shoulders back. Put your left hand on the edge of your chair with your elbow slightly bent.
Reach your right arm up and overhead and exhale as you gently reach over to the left side. This is only a very small stretch so don’t reach too far.
Slowly alternate sides from left to right, and do 10 in total so 5 times on each side.
This article was written with Maria Lally from the Daily Telegraph. To check out the full article read here >>> https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/5-stretches-every-office-worker-should-do/
I hope you find this useful and any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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