We all know or have heard at some point in our adult life that sitting idle at a desk all day long or for hours at a time without taking a break can be harmful to our health. Studies have shown that sitting stationary all day is the major contributor to weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease.
While it is not usually a feasible solution to uproot your life and find a new career that doesn't require you to sit and stare at a computer all day, there are many ways that get your body moving and stretch those stiff joints and muscles right at your desk or in your office.
Here is a list of simple yet effective stretches you can do throughout the day to help improve your overall health:
Neck Stretches : When you find yourself staring off into space or zoning out, take that time to close your eyes for a minute and drop your chin to your chest. Slowly make circles moving the right ear to the right shoulder and then towards your back, making your way to your left ear to the left shoulder.If there is stiffness, take your time and keep your shoulders relaxed. When you are done, take deep breaths and gently shrug your shoulders to your ears and hold before dropping them, repeat this a few times and slowly shake your head up and down and side to side to relax.
Shoulder Stretches : If you carry a lot of tension and stress in your shoulders, try placing one hand under the opposite elbow and move it across your chest. Try to keep from rotating your body while performing this stretch and hold the position for 15-30 seconds.
Back Stretches : Place your hands on the edge of your desk while staying in the sitting position and push back until you find you are looking at the floor then slowly pull yourself back and repeat roughly 15 times.
Leg Stretches : To relax your low back and hamstrings, back away from your desk and put one foot up on the edge. Gently sit straight up and try to grab the foot that is on the desk. Point your toes and then flex the foot and hold for roughly 10 seconds.
For a good thigh stretch, stand up and grab the back of your chair with one hand and your ankle with the other, gently pull behind you towards your buttocks. Keep your back straight and your knees parallel to each other and hold for 15-30 seconds.
Wrist Stretches : Take a break from typing every hour or so and simply roll your wrists clockwise and then counterclockwise. Repeat this about 10 times in each direction. This will help prevent carpal tunnel. You can also extend your fingers as wide as possible and then ball them into a fist tightly and repeat this several times to keep the joints and tendons stretched.
By doing some of these simple stretches while working each day, you can vastly improve your overall physical and mental wellbeing without leaving your desk or office.