Stretches for the Desk Job

We all know that job related stress can take a toll on our health, but there is also another contributor to health problems if not careful: sitting. Sitting for extended periods of time can contribute to tightness in the hips, neck, chest, and pain and discomfort in the shoulders and lower back. Luckily, there are things you can do to help counteract the damage that sitting does to your body.

Look at how you are sitting as you read this. Are your shoulders rolled forward with your neck protruding out? Have you gotten up for a 2 minute break to walk around and move your legs today? The body is meant to be in movement, it was not designed to sit for eight hours a day.

Here are 5 of my favorite stretches you can do on your own to help undo some of the damage of sitting all day. Take 5 minutes when you get home this evening and give them a try.

Downward dog
With hands outstretched in front and you, lift your hips and ground your feet into the floor. Press your fingers into the floor and point them forward, and hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds. This stretch helps reduce tension in the shoulders, and relaxes the neck, as well as stretching the backs of your legs.
Downward dog
Lizard
From the downward dog stretch, step your right foot forward between your palms keeping your hands on the floor. Lower your left knee down to the floor. For a deeper stretch release your elbows to the floor as well.  Hold  the stretch here and relax your breath encouraging your hips to sink lower into the stretch.
Lizard part 1Lizard part 2
Cat cow
This combination of a stretch helps to open up the back and stretch the spine. Start with hands and knees on the floor in a tabletop position with a neutral spine. On the inhale, round the spine and curve up into your cat pose. On the exhale, arch the back and lift the chest to come into a cow pose. Repeat three to five times, focusing on the breath.
CatCow
Happy Baby
This stretch helps open the hips and groins.  The hip joints can get stiff from extended periods of time sitting. Lie down on your back, draw the knees into your chest and grab your feet from the inside, pulling them down so the knees extend on either side of your torso. Try to bring the hips down to the floor. Breathe deeply and rock gently side to side for about 30 seconds.
Happy Baby
Doorframe chest stretch
When you spend a lot of time hunched over at your desk or in front of the computer, tightness in your chest muscles can keep your shoulders pulled forward, exacerbating chest and back pain. Stretching your chest can help loosen and lengthen these tight muscles. Simply stand in a door frame with your arms holding on to the wall. Lean your weight forward. You should feel a stretch across your chest muscles and under your armpit. Move your arms up and down along the door frame to increase the stretch and to stretch different areas of the chest. Hold for several breaths and release.

Have a great week,
Meryl

Featured Snack

Frozen Grapes and Pears

Freezing juicy grapes and pears transforms their texture, turning them in to frosty treats.  You’ll also chew them more slowly. This is a great snack idea for the little ones who always seem to want ice cream, regardless the time of day or year!

Simply place seedless grapes and peeled and chopped pears onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. (At least one hour)

frozen fruit

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