If you work in the New York area at a desk job, it is likely that you endure long hours of sitting. How you approach a sedentary job can make a world of difference in how you feel. Have you ever considered that endurance sitting has an aspect of athleticism? It is not natural for humans to sit 8 hours a day and requires the body to accommodate in a multitude of ways.
If done well, sitting well requires:
- Excellent posture
- A work station that is ergonomically correct
- Using movement and stretches to prevent rigor mortis from setting in.
This article will focus on movement and stretches for people who sit. In the future we will look at the posture and ergonomics of healthy sitting.
Here are 7 stretches that you can do at your desk.
Sitting Shoulder Rolls: Put your feet flat on the ground, sit upright and start with shrugging your shoulders 10 times. Then, roll your shoulders 10 times forward, and then 10 times in backward motion.
Scapular Retraction: Plant your feet firmly on the ground, sit upright and hold your hips with your arms. Keep your chin parallel to the floor. Now, move your arms back and squeeze your shoulder blades. You will feel a stretch on your chest. Hold this position for 10 counts and then relax. Now repeat the same stretch 5-10 times.
Standing Back Bend: Stand near your desk with your arms holding the hips. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and bend backwards from the hips. You will either face the ceiling or the backside of the room. Ensure that the bend is from the hips and not just from the upper back. Hold the position up to 10 counts and relax. Repeat this 5-10 times.
Standing Forward Bend: Stand about 2 feet away from your desk with the chin parallel to the floor. Now, with your chin leading you, bend down and touch your toes. If you have high flexibility, you can place your entire palm under the feet. In case you are unable to reach your toes, place your palms at whichever point on the legs you reach. This is a relaxing pose, which offers a good shoulder stretch. Hold this position up to 10 counts. Relax & repeat.
Door Frame Shoulder Stretch: Walk up to a door frame; stand there with your arms touching the frame on either sides. Now, bend forward and you will feel an intense stretch along your chest and armpits. Hold, release and repeat. For a more intense stretch, move your arms along the frame at different positions and stretch.
Prayer Stretch: Hold both palms in a prayer position with straight fingers and press the palms against each other. Now move the palms down making the elbows parallel to the floor. Repeat this 10 times to stretch your wrists.
Hip Openers: Come to the edge of your chair and sit upright. Now bring the right ankle across the left thigh and press your right knee down. You will feel a stretch in your hip rotators. Now do the same with your left foot. Repeat 10 times.
Maintaining health in the workplace is both challenging and rewarding. The contents of this article are not meant to be diagnostic or prescriptive. Musculoskeletal problems are often complex. Always consult a health care practitioner before choosing it a course of treatment.
Additionally, both Rolfing and acupuncture are wonderful tools to support you in staying healthy in the work place. Learn more about how Frome Physical Therapy can help you by calling 973.509.8464 or scheduling with us online.