As important as having a job is to achieving and maintaining a comfortable lifestyle, most of the average, 9-to-5 desk jobs wreck havoc on our health and bodies. Something all doctors can agree on (which is quite rare) is that staying in a seated position for hours on end can decrease our flexibility, raise our blood pressure and contribute to a wealth of other health issues. That’s why we suggest taking the time every day to execute simple stretches and exercises at work to help prevent these problems from even happening.
Here are a few that can help you improve flexibility and get started on the road to a healthy, comfortable workday:
Taking the time to stand for several minutes every hour or half hour is as simple as it is effective. Getting up to stand ensures your leg muscles keep from shortening and cramping, and gets your blood flowing as well. Making sure to use your legs in full to get up (meaning hands off the armrests) will help to warm and limber as well.
Shoulder Shrugs to Improve Flexibility
At work you might already be used to shrugging your shoulders every time your boss feels like piling more work onto your desk. You might not know that by doing so, you release a ton of pent up tension in your neck and upper back. Simply lifting your shoulders up as high as you can and releasing, paired with deep breaths, can help prevent tension in-between the shoulder blades. Slowly rotating your head up, down, left and right is a great way to loosen the muscles in your neck as well.
As important as getting up from your desk and moving around is, we will all unfortunately be required to sit down and do actual work (bummer, right). That being said, making the proper adjustments to your desk chair can help limit the adverse effects of poor posture. The general rule of thumb is to adjust until you are in the “90-90-90” position. This means your feet are flat on the floor and knees and hips are bent at 90-degree angles. Also make sure your back is flat against the seat rest and not curved and hunched forward.[Image Credit: martinan / 123RF Stock Photo]