Working at a desk all day can be hard on you. By mid-afternoon, energy is waning and muscles and joints have become permanently fixed in the shape of your desk and chair. But do not fear! Allowing yourself a few minutes each day to stretch will give your body and mind the TLC it deserves.
When our bodies stay in one position for a long time, they start to shut down. Muscles start to atrophy, circulation slows down, and nutrients are not absorbed properly. When we move, body function returns to normal. Stretching allows our bodies to get the movement it needs without interfering too much with work and other activities. Stretching increases flexibility, reduces stress, leaves you feeling refreshed, alleviates lower back pain, etc… So here are a few easy stretches you can do anytime of the day right at your desk:
Stand facing your desk. Turn your hands so that the wrists face your computer and the fingers face the edge of the desk. Lean in to the wrists and flatten your palms as much as possible.
Interlace your fingers and raise your hands above your head, with your palms facing upwards. Relax your shoulders so they drop down towards your chair
Scoot to the front of your chair and twist your torso to grab the back of your chair, first one way, then the other
Keeping your feet hip-distance apart, fold over your legs. Shake your head “no” and nod your head “yes” as you hang over your leg
Just stand up and sit down -- no hands
It’s easy to forget to stretch. So here’s a quick tip: write the word ‘STRETCH’ on a sticky note and place it on your computer monitor. Every week or so, move the note to a new location at your work station so your mind does not get used to its placement and overlook it.