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Simple Stretches to Counteract Sitting All Day At Work
Long hours of sitting can take a toll on our overall health and wellbeing, resulting in health issues like neck and shoulder pain, posture impairment, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many more. The good news is that all of these are easy to combat with regular and consistent movement. Exercise does not need to take a lot of your time, nor will you need a complex workout routine for it to be effective. The key solution is -consistency! To simplify things, you want to stretch the overactive muscles and strengthen those that are underactive. Our trainer, Aleksandra offers her advice on how to counteract the lack of movement during the day.
First thing’s first: Breathe
Start with slow, deep, and mindful breathing. This will bring awareness back to your body and help you release stress and tension. While breathing, make each subsequent breath deeper than the previous one, and as you exhale, release the tension you might feel in different parts of your body. While maintaining a steady breath, scan your body from head to toe. Start from the top of your head and relax your forehead. Unclench your jaw, make sure that your shoulders are down and relaxed, and move down into your chest and abdominal area while deepening your breath. Move the relaxation through your arms, all the way to the tips of your fingers, and then from your hips and legs, through your knees, and down to your toes.
Now that your breath is deep and steady, and you are feeling more relaxed, you are ready to stretch!
Roll your neck
While in a seated position, roll your neck six times in a clockwise direction and another six times counterclockwise. Keep the movement slow and steady.
Do a Neck-side Stretch
Bring your head gently to the side, moving your right ear towards your right shoulder. Keep the stretch for around 20 to 30 seconds, and then move to the other side.
Put Your Head Down And Gaze Up
Bring your chin forward to your chest and, if comfortable, interlock your fingers and push your head more deeply into the stretch to feel a slight discomfort. Keep the forward stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, and then move in the other direction by bringing your chin up to the ceiling and moving your head backward.
Do the Trunk Rotation
Staying in a seated position, cross your right leg over the left one, and rest your left arm on the back of your chair. From here, twist your upper body in the direction of the arm that is resting on the back of your chair, and hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch and release throughout your back, and down your spine. Repeat the movement on the other side.