Do you sit for hours at a time? More than likely if you have a typical desk job the answer is yes, yes, & yes. In keeping up with the theme of wellness this 2018, I wanted to share some of my favorite ideas, suggestions and stretches to help you create a healthy habit of making movement & stretching a priority during your workday. Why do I want you to get up and move….well, research has linked sitting for long periods of time with many health concerns not limited to but including
obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Now, most of us do not have a treadmill ready vertical desk (high five to you if you do!) but that shouldn’t stop you from getting up to move. I suggest starting small, as well as getting your co-workers on board, not only keeping it social and productive but also for the accountability factor.
Stand while on the phone
Stand while eating lunch
Take the stairs versus the elevator
Hold a walking meeting versus in the office or a conference room
Start a lunch time walking group
Set a reminder to get up and move for 1 minute each hour
Stretch at or around your desk
Benefits could include improved range of motion and posture, physical and mental stress relief,
increased energy & caloric burn all the while keeping productivity high.
Let’s work out those computer and desk kinks with the following stretches! Always remember to breathe and ease into each stretch, never forcing the movement. Repeat each stretch 2-3 times each side for 10-30 seconds unless otherwise noted.
1. As you take an exhale lean chin toward chest.
2. Gently guide head toward one shoulder with same side hand until a light stretch is felt. ~ Option to flex opposite hand as if placing it flat on ground.
3. Repeat on the second side.
4. Slowly roll chin back to chest and lift chin back to starting position.
1. Interlace fingers and press arms straight out in front of you.
2. Lower head in line with outstretched arms.
3. Press arms away from body as upper back rounds.
1. Place hands behind head.
2. Gliding elbows back, gently squeeze shoulder blades down and together (while chest lifts).
3. Relax and slowly return to the starting position.
1. Kneel on the floor (top of the shins and feet as your base, torso straight).
2. Step Left foot forward, knee directly above ankle.
3. Slightly tuck pelvis under while pressing torso towards facing wall, knee may glide
4. Place hands on the top of the Left thigh for support.
5. Repeat other side.
1. From the hip flexor stretch position (low lunge, left foot forward, right knee and shin on the
floor) reach Left arm to side and touch the fingers to the floor or stack of books for support.
2. Sweep Right arm up and overhead reaching right fingertips towards Left side of your body.
3. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Lower Back And Lats:
1. Lie on your stomach on the floor or on a mat. Keep the legs on the floor.
2. Bend your elbows and interlock your fingertips behind your neck (thumbs on either side of
your neck, pointing towards your upper back).
3. Inhale lift chin and upper chest off floor.
4. Lower down on an exhale.
*Each inhale lifts torso as far off the floor as you can, albeit gently, by tightening the muscles along
your spine. Lower down on an exhale. Repeat 10 to 15 times. To intensify lift legs off floor.
1. Then, find child’s pose. Bend knees and reach seat towards heels (tops of the feet still touching the floor).
2. Rest torso on thighs and forehead on floor or a support while reaching arms out in front on floor-finger tips forward, shoulder blades retracting down the back.
3. Hold for 5-8 breaths, then slight lift of forehead as walk hands over to Left, keeping glutes stacked over heels.
4. Repeat on other side.
Whole Back/Spine And Hamstrings:
1. Lie on back, feet on the floor, knees bent. Hug both knees into chest and rock gently back and forth a few times.
2. Extend Left leg straight on the floor, keep Right knee hugged towards the chest. Take 5-8
here and enjoy the hamstring stretch.
3. Then, work to keep Right shoulder on the floor as you exhale and guide Right knee across
the midline of the body towards floor with Left hand, stacking hip on top of hip.
4. Inhale knee back to center.
5. Switch legs and repeat on other side.