If you like to read up on the latest health trends, you’ve likely read articles praising the virtues of desk stretching and thought “I could NEVER do that at my desk!”
We get it. But we also know that if you sit for most of your work day, you’re likely experiencing pain in your lower back, tightness in your chest, and maybe even some numbness (all signs your body NEEDS to move around!). In addition to discomfort, research has shown that poor posture, repetitive motion, and staying in the same position for extended periods of time can worsen - and even cause - musckuloskeletal disorders.
The good news? There ARE stretches you can do at your desk – even if your boss is 10 feet away - that will help. They are discreet, easy, and will reduce the discomfort and long-term effects of desk sitting.
Here are three of our favourites:
1. Reach around the back of your chair and clasp your hands together, then lift your chest up while pulling your shoulder blades together. Great for: opening the chest and preventing rounded posture.
2. Lace your fingers together and reach your arms overhead as high as you can (palms facing up), then tilt your upper body from side to side. Great for: lengthening the spine and giving your sides a stretch.
3. Sitting up straight and tall, place your hands behind your head and pull your elbows back to open your chest, then twist slowly to your left – then slowly to your right. Great for: restoring the rotation of your spine.
You can do these stretches as often as every 30 minutes, or whenever you feel stiff.
Need more office exercise and stretch tips? Contact us today for a free assessment. We work in many offices across the GTA and would love to come to yours!
Poul Nielsen is the owner and operator of Nielsen Fitness, Toronto's leading team of in-home personal trainers. He has 18 years' experience in the fitness industry and has taught courses in Fitness and Lifestyle Management at George Brown College.
In addition to exercise (obviously), he loves spending time with his family, playing the guitar, strong coffee - and dark chocolate!