If you work at an office, then you are familiar with how stiff your body can get from being stuck in one position for the majority of the day. Sitting down at a desk can actually cause more strain on your body than you think. As such, it is important that you practice regularly stretching and performing simple exercises at the workplace. Some small movements can even help you burn a few extra calories. Below you will find some problems that your body may encounter from being stationary in the office, and some easy exercises to help you alleviate them.
Stretching and exercise at the office
1. Stiff and tight neck
Your neck can become uncomfortably sore from being on a chair and staring at a computer screen all day. It can also result in you experiencing headaches. Doing a simple neck stretch on occasion should minimize the likelihood of stiffness. Sit tall in your chair, assuming good posture by making sure that your shoulders are situated directly above your hips. Slowly lower your right ear to your right shoulder until you feel a gentle stretch in the left side of your neck. Hold this before repeating the movement on the opposite side.
2. Back pain
Back pain can be a common problem from sitting at the desk, hunched over the computer all day, so giving it a stretch can help with any tightness or aches. Extend your arms in front of you with your palms together and your elbows facing outwards. Join your fingers together before gently twisting your hands down and rotating to the opposite direction so that your palms face away from you. Slowly stretch your arms upwards and point your hands as high as you can towards the ceiling, hold this position for 15 seconds. Repeat this when necessary throughout the day.
When your legs stay still for the majority of the day, they will need a bit of a stretch to stop them from cramping up. You will need to get up for this particular stretch. Stand straight with your feet directly underneath your hips and take a deep breath before bending forward from your waist. Slowly move your arms toward the ground and try not to bend your knees. You will feel the stretch behind your legs and along your upper thighs. Hold this move for 15 seconds and repeat as necessary.
4. Full body stretch
This stretch loosens your entire body without having to get off your seat. Sit in the front of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, knees in line with your hips and back straight. Raise your hands and reach upward while slowly looking towards the ceiling, then hold. Lower back your arms and return to the position that you started in. Repeat this a few more times.
Some more suggestions
Practice good posture when you are sitting at work; avoid slumping low in your chair or hunching forward. Sit up straight but slightly angled back, away from your computer screen. This will lower the risk of common upper and lower back aches. Keeping mobile in a stiff environment is an important puzzle to solve; be inventive in finding ways to move around the office. The trick is to optimize your range of motion. Even gently swinging your feet back and forth while seated can make a difference! Rotate your shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. Flex your fingers and toes. Push off the balls of your feet to work your calves. During your lunch break, instead of spending time online, make it an opportunity to go for a nice leisurely stroll. Walking up and down the stairs in the office can be great for stretching your legs, also affording some sneaky coffee breaks! If you live within a reasonable distance from where you work, ditch the car, get some fresh air and exercise at the same time by heading to the office on foot.
A Little Help
Other forms of stretching and exercise that use minimal movements can be researched online. Isometrics for instance, can tone muscle from static positions. Yoga offers small poses and breathing techniques. The basic principle is that engaging in these small physical activities makes a world of difference in keeping fit and giving you more energy at work. Should you need more help undoing the knots in your muscles and oiling your joints, drop by a day spa for the appropriate massage treatment.