Stretch! Now! Right NOW!
Sitting at your desk all day long can make you stiff and sore. But doing a few simple stretches throughout the day can make all the difference in the world – and you do not even have to leave your desk! Here are a few to try out:
Side Neck Stretch – while sitting tall, tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear closer to your right shoulder. At the same time, press down your left shoulder. To intensify the stretch, pull your head gently closer to your shoulder. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Back of Neck Stretch – while sitting tall, press both shoulders down toward the ground while you slowly bring your chin towards your chest feeling a stretch in the back of your neck. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds.
Spine Stretch – this is great for when you've been sitting too long. While sitting tall, press both shoulders down towards the ground. Imagine a string at the crown of your head pulling up towards the sky and then rolling forward (like the shape of a candy cane). Continue rolling down one vertebra at a time until you feel a stretch in the muscles along your spine. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds.
Upper Back Stretch – extend both arms in front of you at shoulder level. Grab onto your wrist with the other hand and gently pull your arms forward as you round your upper back. For a deaf stretch, gently drop your head towards the ground at the same time. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds.
Hip Stretch – when you're sitting a lot, it's important to open your hips. Sit tall at the edge of your chair. Keep your right foot flat on the floor while you cross your left ankle on top of your right knee with your left knee pointing out to the left side of your body. Gently press down on your left knee bringing it closer to the ground until you feel a stretch in your left hip. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
Hamstring Stretch – extend one leg in front of you with your heel on the ground and your toe pointed up toward the ceiling. Place your hands on your lower leg for support and lean forward until a stretch is felt at the back of your upper leg. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds and repeat with the other leg. For a greater stretch, place your hands on the bottom of the ball of the foot of your extended leg and pull your toes towards you.
Chest Stretch – if you slouch at your desk, this is an important stretch to open up your chest. While sitting tall and keeping your shoulders dropped, reach your hands behind your back or around the back of your chair. Think of trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together until you feel a stretch in your chest. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds.
Wrist Stretch – extend one arm out in front of you so your elbow is straight with your palms facing away from you and your fingers pointing down toward the ground. With your other hand, gently press the palm of your extended hand towards the floor until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for a minimum of 15 seconds and repeat with your other arm.