What lower back stretches can I do at work?
And more importantly:
How can I incorporated back stretches into my work day?
These are common questions people ask.
Stretching at work has to be discreet, compact and quick. So we need something that does all three.
These tips will help you do exactly that.
Scenario one: Getting up From Your Desk
You need to get up from your desk to go to the bathroom, what do you do?
Instead of just standing up, place your hands on your desk and use them to push you up.
But the trick here is to lead with your back. Before you even start using your legs, press your back away from your hands – at the bottom or top of the back depending on where it hurts most. Hold this back position as you push with your legs and arms, until you're fully standing.
You've just done a 5 second back stretch. Without anyone noticing.
Now imagine how many of these 5 second stretches you will get each time you stand up in the day.
Lots of quick stretches often, that's just what flexibility likes.
Scenario Two: Bending Down to Pick Something Up
You've dropped your pen. Here's what you do.
Most people when they bend down to it in a sharp jerky move and hence cause more pain.
The trick is to do it sloooowly.
Relax your legs and back and slowly bend toward the floor, first from your head, then shoulders and finally back and waist. Start with your legs a little bent at first, ever you'll be bending down with straight legs.
Stay relaxed as you come up and slooowly reverse the movement, head coming up last.
You can play around with this trick. Do it as you bend to tie your shoes. Or even 'pret' to drop something each time you need to stretch your back.
So things to remember are:
– Keep your stretching movements slow and smooth
– Breathe through your stretches – breathing out as you go through the main stretch (but obviously do not let out big groans as if you're getting out of bed!)
– Short, frequent stretches are better than 1 long one. I recommend doing this every couple of hours, even if it means 'making up' reasons to bend down or get up from your seat. Your boss will not notice if it's short.
There we go, two little ways to use everyday life to stretch at work without even feeling like you're stretching. These little frequent stretches will have a major boost to your wellbeing.