If You Have A Desk Job, You Need to Stretch: Here’s Why
The world of today encourages a sedentary lifestyle: most of us are stuck at a desk all day, after sitting in a significant amount of traffic on our commute, and often once we get home, we unwind from the day by sitting some more.
Sitting can actually be quite detrimental to our health when it comes to mobility and avoiding chronic muscle pain, so stretching is an absolute must to counteract the result of sitting so much.
Pain and Stiffness
Sitting for hours on end with minimal breaks can often result in pain in a number of areas, but the lower back and hips are perhaps the most susceptible. This is because when sitting upright at a desk, the hip flexors are shortened, making them stiff and immobile after a long period of time.
A Few Key Stretches
A few key stretches incorporated into your daily schedule can not only help you counter the effects of sitting for hours on end, but can also help you manage or eliminate pain and muscle stiffness. Consider these several stretches that target your hips, lower back, and upper body:
- Shoulder Stretch: Hunching over at a desk dramatically decreases shoulder mobility. Hold a towel in both hands behind your back and, opening your chest, slowly, gently raise your arms and hold for a few seconds.
- Piriformis Stretch: The piriformis is a small muscle next to your gluteus maximus; sitting can make it tight and short. Sit on a bench and bring your left ankle over your right knee. Apply slight pressure to the inside of your left knee and lean forward.
- Hip Flexor Stretch (Lunge): Your hip flexors are crucial to basic movements but become tight and short when sitting. Kneel down and move one leg forward into a lunge. Gently move your hips forward, feeling the stretch in your hips.
There are, of course, many other stretches that will prove beneficial to those who sit at a desk all day, but these three are a great start and will certainly help you loosen up tight muscles after a long day at work.