A lot of jobs require that you sit all day at a desk to do your work, even at home you tend to sit a lot, so taking a break to do some stretches is the perfect way to get moving. After being sat for a long time your joints stiffen, your shoulders round forward, your back slumps and your circulation slows. Giving yourself breaks away from the chair to get up to do a few quick stretches wakes your body up and can help avoid those damaging effects.
You can read more about why stretching is good for you here.
You’re probably reading this sat down so here is the perfect opportunity to get up and follow along with the stretches bellow. Get that body flexing!
Try to hold each stretch for 30 seconds and aim to complete them twice a day.
- Seated or standing, lift your shoulders up to your ears, squeezing whilst you do so.
- Hold for a few seconds and roll them backwards as you release.
- Repeat 8-10 times and then do the same but rolling forward.
Get the blood moving through your shoulders to release any tension in the muscles.
Figure 4 Stretch
- Move forward in your chair and put your right ankle over your left knee.
- Try to keep your back straight as you lean forward from the hips to increase the stretch.
- After 30 seconds switch feet.
This will stretch your hips and help relieve lower back pain.
- You can do this from your chair or on the floor.
- Sit with your spine tall
- Clasp your hands together behind you as you draw your shoulder blades down.
- Slightly raise your hands if you can to increase the stretch.
Opening up the front of your body can increase flexibility and shoulder movement.
- In a seated position, have your feet flat on the floor.
- As you breathe in gently rotate your upper body to the right.
- Put your right arm behind you and your left hand on your right knee.
- Only twist as far as is comfortable, you don’t need to rotate far! Keep your back straight and hips square.
- After 30 seconds repeat on the other side.
This will gently work some of the tension out of your lower back, you don’t need to stretch too far to feel the benefits.
- Stand with your legs just wider than your hip width.
- Stretch your arms to the ceiling with palms facing forward and fingers spread.
- Go up onto your toes.
This will lengthen your body to stretch out your tightened joints and muscles.
- Start on all 4’s with hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Move your hips back to sit on your heels, bring your toes together but knees apart.
- Keep your arms facing forward to stretch through the shoulders.
This is going to stretch out your hips and lower back as well as your lat muscles.
Try to keep these stretches up for a week. Once they become a part of your routine it will be easy to keep up the practise. Your body will thank you for some relief after hours of being sat down.