Have you come to dread Monday mornings? Perhaps you can’t pinpoint the reason you feel blue, all you know is that once you sit at your desk, you can’t wait to leave at the end of the day.
You’re not abnormal. In fact, feelings like that mark you as a properly functioning human being. Why? Humans weren’t made for sitting in office chairs all day. In fact, hunching over a laptop can lead to all sorts of discomfort and physical ailments that may at first be difficult to pinpoint but can snowball into serious complications if not taken care of.
So what’s a career desk worker to do? Ever considered an office stretch routine? Stretching can help ease the pains associated with sitting for long periods of time. It also serves as a posture corrector. Consider what happens when you raise your arms above your head and stretch. Try it now. What happened? Chances are high you’re no longer slouching, right?
Stretching also promotes blood circulation through your limbs, which is vital on many, many levels. In extreme cases of bad blood circulation, blood clotting occurs, which can result in a heart attack, or other serious problem.
Convinced? Or want to try it out for yourself and see what a difference stretching can make to your day?
Here are 5 simple stretches to get you started:
- The hallelujah stretch:
This is simple, and it probably needs no further explanation beyond its descriptive title. But for those who need it—simply raise your arms to the ceiling and see how high your fingertips can reach. As an addition to this basic stretch, clasp your hands above your head and gently tug your right hand slightly toward the left. This should give you a gentle stretch along your right side. Then alternate to tugging toward the right for a stretch along your left side.
- The Raggedy Ann stretch:
While sitting on your office chair, lean forwards until your head is on your knees, or as close to your knees as you can get. Clasp your hands behind your back and then bring them as high into the air as they can go. Hold this position for a count of 5 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and the backs of your arms.
- The stiff leg stretch:
While sitting, straighten one leg out in front of you until your leg is parallel with the floor. Flex your foot and then point your toe a total of 5 times. Next move your foot in a circular motion for a count of 5 times. Repeat with the other leg. You should feel a gentle stretch through your calf and the top of your thigh.
- The torso twist stretch:
Begin by sitting up straight. With your left hand, grasp the right side of your office chair and pull your torso into a twist. You should feel a stretch along the left side of your body. Repeat with your right hand for the right side.
- The hug your knees stretch:
Because everyone needs a hug, even your knees. While sitting down, clasp your hands around a knee and bring that knee up as close to your chest as possible. Hold for a count of 5 seconds and then repeat on the other knee. You should feel a stretch in your hips while doing this.
All these stretches can be performed while sitting down and will help you feel more comfortable as you go into the rest of your work day. Stretching is your first line of defense at the office. But if your muscles need serious relief, consider a device called the QuattroPro Massager. A portable tool crafted by a chiropractor, it can fit in an office drawer and is inconspicuous enough to be used on sore muscles as needed.