Do you feel stiff and sore when you get up from your desk after a long day of work? You're not alone. Many people experience back and neck pain from sitting in the same position all day long.
Fortunately, there are various, yet simple stretches that you can do at your office desk to help relieve some of the tension. In this article, we will discuss some easy stretches that you can do in the comfort of your office, and why this task is simple but very effective!
Disadvantages of Not Stretching
According to research, poor posture, repetitive motion, and being in the same position may cause or aggravate musculoskeletal disorders.
Our daily office habits can actually cause other various health issues, such as:
Lower back pain
Shoulder and neck pain
Based on Mayo Clinic, more than 4 hours per day of screen time may also enhance the risk of death by 50%. It also enhances the risk of cardiovascular disease by 125%.
Benefits of Stretching
Stretching can take time away from work, but it leads to an increase in work productivity. If one has the given time, don’t hesitate to perform some basic stretches in the office and allow yourself to refresh your mind in peace. Just make sure you do it in a safe and open space, away from office hazards & obstructions!
2. Reduces Fatigue
Stretching reduces fatigue by increasing the blood flow to the muscles and tight joints. The same idea applies when you exercise. Because of good blood flow, stretching also keeps you more energized and active.
3. Increases Comfort
Stretching may feel uncomfortable for some people, but it actually helps the body feel better. But only have the right amount of stretching because overstretching may cause unnecessary damage. Learning how to listen to your body is also crucial, as feeling the pain doesn’t always ensure the muscle you’re stretching is being activated.
Apply caution when stretching in the office because it loosens cold muscles, which are more prone to injuries compared to warm ones.
4. Better Posture
Muscle tension and tightness can be bad for your posture because it pulls the spine into positions that cause stress on the neck, back, and other muscles.
Studies showed that regular stretching plus core strengthening exercises will help enhance poor posture and alignment.
5. Relieves Stress
Getting swamped with endless work duties is nerve-wracking at times, yet a simple stretch just might be able to alleviate the stress build-up a bit. It decreases stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which contributes to the body’s ability to go into “relaxation” mode.
6. Improve Flexibility
Flexibility can increase gradually due to regular stretching. In the aging population, the rate of flexibility degradation is significantly reduced the more stretches they do.
Desk-Friendly Exercises That You Can Do In Your Office
Whatever your age is, it’s never too late to start stretching. Some are even applicable by your desk. Here are some that you can try:
1. Upper Body and Arm Stretch
Clasp your hands together up your head with your palms facing outward. Stretch your arms upward by pushing your arms up. Hold your pose for about 10-30 seconds.
2. Triceps Stretch
Raise and bend your arm until it reaches the opposite side. Using your other hand, pull your elbow towards your head. Hold your pose for about 10-30 seconds. Repeat this with the other side.
3. Latissimus Stretch or Overhead Reach
Extend each of your arms overhead. Reach for the opposite side. Hold your pose for about 10-30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite side.
1. Forward Stretch/Rhomboid Upper/Upper Back Stretch
Clasp your two hands in front of you. Lower your head until it becomes in line with your arms. Press forward and hold this position for 10-30 seconds.
2. Shoulder or Pectoralis Stretch
Clasp your hands behind your back. Push your chest forward and lift your chin. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds.
3. Torso Stretch or Trunk Rotation
Place your feet forward on the ground. Rest an arm on the chair’s back. Twist the upper body in the resting arm’s direction. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds.
Repeat this with the other side. If you want more range of motion, exhale while leaning into the stretch.
Legs and Knees Stretch
1. Hamstrings Stretch
While seated, extend one of your legs outward. Reach down toward your toes. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. Repeat this with the other side. Do this one leg at a time because it may cause back issues.
2. Hip and Knee Flexion Stretch
Hug and pull one knee towards your chest. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. Alternate with the other knee.
Head and Shoulder Stretch
1. Neck Stretch
Lean your head forward. Slowly roll your head toward one side. Hold this for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Lift your chin to the starting position. Repeat 3 times per direction.
2. Shoulder Shrug
Raise your shoulders toward your ears at the same time. Drop your shoulders. Repeat those processes 10 times per direction.
3. Upper Trap Stretch
Pull your head gently towards each shoulder until you feel a light stretch. Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds. Alternate once per side.
Desk stretches are a great way to help alleviate the tension and pain in the neck and back muscles. They are simple, easy-to-do, and you can do them right at your office desk!
Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, these stretches, simple as they may be, can make all the difference when you get up from your office chair. We hope you will try out some of these stretches the next time these “muscle inconveniences” pop up unannounced from sitting all day.
Without a doubt, stretching goes a long way of providing many benefits to one’s lifestyle. But sometimes, seeking an ergonomic chair and an office desk for your office, with its various user-friendly features, can enhance your working experience for the better. Here at Movado Interiors, we prioritize your health and comfort while working. Not only can we help you choose the ideal furniture for your workspace, but also provide practical solutions to your daily work needs.
Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation or ask us about our suite of ergonomic office products!