Working at a desk is perceived as easy on the body because it doesn't require heavy lifting or moving heavy objects. The truth is, sitting for extended periods is just as hard on the body as working in manual labor. It would be best to get up and regularly move to prevent discomfort and pain from setting in, but sometimes you can't find a moment to get up and walk around.
Fortunately, there are stretches that you can do at your desk that provide the same benefit as a quick walk around the office. These are easy to do and require little time investment. Set a reminder on your phone, use an app, or set a tab in your browser that gets your attention and tells you to stop and stretch to do these five stretches to prevent physical pain at work:
This stretch requires bringing your arms up over your head and moving from side to side. The stretch is good for your body from the hips upwards because you're also moving your spine and shoulders.
Start by bringing one arm up and letting your forearm hang over your back. Take your other arm and hold onto your elbow, then draw your elbow towards your head. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, then release. Repeat the motion for your opposite side. Keep your hips level and flat in the chair as you're performing this stretch. Your spine should move in the direction you're pulling in, but your hips need to stay still.
Seated Torso Stretches
For this stretch, you can put both feet on the ground in front of you or cross your legs. Begin by placing your feet and legs in position and facing forward.
Place an arm on the back of your chair, then twist your upper body in the direction of said arm, and hold the position for up to 30 seconds. Your head will turn with the movement. Do the same for the other side. Your other arm can hang loose until you turn to that side.
The hamstring stretch can be done with one or both legs extended at the same time. Begin by moving to the edge of your seat and stretching out your legs so toes are up and heels are down.
Lean forward from the hips with one or both hands and reach for your toes. If you can't reach your toes, reach as far forward as possible to let your spine lengthen and loosen. Hold the stretches for up to 30 seconds.
Start by letting your neck fall forward with your chin on your chest. Slowly roll your head to one side and move your jaw along your upper chest as you bring your head parallel to your shoulder.
Hold the stretch for 10 seconds when your head is at your shoulder. Return your chin to the starting position and repeat two more times for a total of three stretches. Repeat for the opposite side.
Begin this stretch by crossing one leg on top of the other and positioning your foot just behind your knee. If you're starting with your left leg, use your left hand to push down on your left knee gently.
You should be feeling a stretch in your hip region. Lean forward with a straight spine and relaxed shoulders and breathe to let yourself get further into the stretch. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.
If you are suffering from low back pain, the Wright Start Chiropractic can help. We provide adjustments and more to those who do a lot of sitting or work behind a desk. Our goal is to make your life easier by helping with your discomfort.
Schedule an appointment today! You deserve relief from your pain.
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