Easy Desk Stretches

Published Friday, October 15, 2010 3:28 PM

I spend more hours in a day sitting at my desk than I do anywhere else including bed. And I have the sore back and stiff neck to prove it. To combat the desk-bound blues, I'm committing to a series of easy, desk stretches throughout the day. Join me! Your back will thank you.

Streeeetch

To start, here are three of my favorites, courtesy of WebMD.

Shrug your shoulders: Great for releasing the neck and shoulders. Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times. Shake your head slowly, yes and no.

Point your fingers: A wonderful stretch for hands, wrist, and forearms. Stretch your left hand out in front of you, pointing fingers toward the floor. Use your right hand to gently increase the stretch, pushing your fingers down and toward the body. Repeat with other hand. Next stretch your left hand out straight in front, wrist bent, with fingers pointing skyward. Use your right hand to increase the stretch, pulling the fingers back toward your body.

 Torso Twist: Release tension in the upper body. Inhale and as you exhale, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand, and grab the arm of the chair with your left. With eyes level, use your grasp on the chair to help twist your torso around as far to the back of the room as possible. Hold the twist and let your eyes continue the stretch -- see how far around the room you can peer. Repeat on the other side.

For more stretches, read WebMD's Stretching Exercises at Your Desk: 12 Simple Tips.

In addition to stretching, desk workers should get up and move around at least every hour to promote circulation and get the blood flowing. Other simple desk relaxation techniques include breathing deeply; many people unconsciously hold their breath, which causes tension in our muscles. Take time to focus on breathing throughout the day.

Finally, before hitting the "send" button on an e-mail, consider getting up and walking to talk with your colleague face-to-face. Or hit the stairs at lunch rather than the elevator. Small steps can add up to relaxed results. 

Do you have desk stretches or other office relaxation tips? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Bradley Eggers

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