How to Stretch at Work
Have you ever wanted to stretch at work but felt confined to your chair or desk? Stretching can reinvigorate the mind and the body by gently getting the blood flowing. Sitting for extended periods of time causes your muscles to shorten, which can create discomfort and make it difficult to concentrate on your job. So just think about how much better you could perform after incorporating some stretching into your work life!
If you are low on space or don’t want to catch anyone’s attention, you can stretch in your chair. Taking a moment to stretch your shoulders is an excellent idea here because you don’t even have to stand up. You can simply notice if you have been slumping forward, and give your shoulders a little break. The best way to combat tight shoulders is to open them in the opposite direction. You can do this by taking a simple triceps stretch: lifting one arm up and overhead, bending the elbow and holding it with the opposite hand. Breathing while you stretch will also help to bring fresh oxygen into your muscles and soothe your central nervous system, so don’t forget to breathe!
You can also stretch your outer hips while seated in your desk chair. The Seated Figure 4 stretch is a great one to do here because it may actually look like you are just crossing your legs. You can even do this one if you are on a phone call! Simply cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Then, fold forward at the hips. You should feel this stretch in the outside of your crossed leg. The hips chronically get tight from sitting, so this one will be very beneficial to those who are desk-bound at work.
If you work on a computer, chances are your wrists could use a little TLC, too. To stretch your wrist, extend one arm in front of you. Use your other hand to pull the fingers back. Then flip your palm down and stretch the opposite side. Make sure you do the other one, too.
Other ideas you can try are neck stretches and side body stretches. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and if your boss asks, just tell them it helps you do a better job!