If you have a desk job, it’s likely you also suffer from tension or pain in your neck, shoulders, back, or hips. That’s because sitting for long stretches of time is not an ideal position for your body…or your health.
But, until you acquire a standing desk, here are 9 stretches you can do in the office that will relieve the pressure.
Seated Spinal Twist
Here’s a great way to release tension in your back. Sit on your chair sideways so that your shoulders and back are perpendicular to the back of the chair. Sit up straight, place your feet on the ground and place your hands on the back of the chair. Using your arms, twist, puling yourself towards the chair. Switch the side of the chair you’re sitting on and repeat. This pose stretches out the spine, chest, and neck. Take approximately 8 to10 breaths on each side.
You only feel as young as your spine is flexible! This move can help. Sit up straight, place your feet flat on the floor, and rest the palms of your hands on top of your knees. Inhale, arch your back and look up, pulling your shoulders back as you do so. This will open up the whole front of the torso and neck. When you exhale, round your spine, pull the shoulders toward each other at the front of the body and drop your head tower your chest. This will stretch and open the back, shoulders, and neck. Do approximately 8 to 10 complete rounds.
When you spend hours upon hours in a seated position, the hamstrings tighten and the tighter the hamstrings are, the more they pull on the muscles of the lower back. To help avoid lower back pain caused by sitting, stand up, place your feet flat on the floor, and bend over at the hips bringing your chest toward or onto your thighs. Let your head drop loose and your arms hang beside you. Take 8 to 10 breaths.
Sitting at the computer all day can do a number on your shoulders and upper back. This may help. While sitting, reach your arms straight out in front of you, keeping them parallel with your shoulders and shoulder-distance apart. Bend the left arm upward and sweep the right arm under it. Wrap your right arm around the left until you are able to grab the outside edge of the left arm or until you are able to clasp your palms together. Lift the elbows away towards the ceiling and pull your hands away from your face. Turn your head side-to-side. Repeat on the other side. This will stretch the muscles under the shoulder blades, the upper back, shoulders, and neck. Hold each side for approximately 8 to 10 breaths.
Standing Pigeon Pose
Ok, this pose isn’t quite as discreet, but when you sit for long periods of time, your hips can get sore and this hip-opening pose can help reduce tension. To do it, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Facing the desk, place your knee and the bottom half of your leg on the desk. Bend your knee and pull your foot towards your body. Your leg should be parallel to your body. With your left leg straight, bend towards your right leg. Hold for approximately 8 to 10 breaths then repeat on the other side.
If you have a job that requires you sit at a desk, you probably have some pretty tight chest and shoulder muscles. You can stay right in your chair for this one. Simply interlace your fingers behind you and place your arms on the top of your chair’s backrest. Drop your chin to the chest. Your chest, shoulders, and neck will appreciate it. Hold this pose for 8 to 10 breaths.
Thread The Needle
Here’s another great hip opener stretch to release tension in the hips and lower back. Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Cross your left leg over onto your right leg, placing the ankle of the left directly above the right knee. Thread your left hand between your legs and hold onto the back of your right thigh. Lift your legs up–using your right hand as well if you wish–until you feel a stretch in your left hip. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
I bet you spend a lot of the day typing or texting. If you do, you’ll want to do this hand stretch. Stand, place both hands on your desk, palms faced down, fingertips facing your body. To intensify the stretch, lean forward. Hold the stretch until you feel the tension release.
After a long day do you notice tension in your neck and shoulders? When we are tense, it’s the shoulders that think they can hold up the weight of the world. To give them some relief,, sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your chin toward your chest and roll the right ear to the right shoulder. To intensify the stretch, place your left hand on top of your right shoulder and place your right hand just above your left ear. Gently apply pressure with the hand on your head hand and breathe through the stretch. Take approximately 8 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side.
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