If you work an office job all day, your muscles may not be getting used much due to a sedentary lifestyle. Many people who work at a desk for 8 hours or more per day may experience increased weight, poor posture and stiff, painful joints. Stretching is a vital part of keeping the body strong and flexible to avoid injury and stiffness.
Why Is Stretching Important?
You may not think of stretching as exercise, but it is just as important to the body. It increases flexibility and sends oxygen to the brain the same way as other forms of exercise. It warms the body up for activities by sending blood and nutrients to the muscles, reducing the possibility of accidents or injury from muscle strain. It also helps the joints achieve the full range of motion preventing stiffness and promoting a stronger base of support.
The good news is that you can regain flexibility and keep your muscles and joints healthy by incorporating regular exercise and stretching into your daily routine even if you sit all day.
Here are a list of stretches you can do at your desk to maintain flexibility.
2x2x2: Sitting in your chair, stretch both arms up toward the ceiling. Place one hand on your desk and grab the back of the chair with the other hand towards the bottom of the chair and twist in the opposite direction. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Release and reach for the ceiling again. Then repeat the stretch on the other side. Hold for another 10 seconds and release.
Shoulder Spin: Place your left hand behind your back, palm facing out. With your right hand, reach up and down over the shoulder blades and try to touch the fingers on your left hand. If you are able to touch, hold it for 10 seconds. If not, just get as close as you can because it will improve with practice. Repeat on each side.
Seated Leg Lifts: Push your chair back and raise and lower your left leg 15 times. Be sure to get a full extension on each lift. Repeat with the right leg. Raise and lower slowly – don’t bounce.
The Magic Carpet Ride: Sit cross-legged in your chair and raise yourself up on your arms, tighten your stomach muscles and hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds if possible. Repeat 5 times. Be sure to rest for 30 seconds in between raises.
If you would like more information on keeping muscles and joints flexible and how to avoid injury, contact Ralph Roberts in Amarillo. As a personal trainer, Ralph can walk you through stretches and exercises that will protect your muscles, tendons and joints.
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