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Put Simple Stretches to Work While You Sit

By Sandy Schroeder

We are all aware of the sitting issue, but getting ahead of the day-to-day reality can still be tricky.  Work has to be done and deadlines just keep showing up. If you can relate when you sit way longer than intended, you might welcome some "in position" relief stretches from The idea is to stay loose and keep stretching whenever you are sitting.

Does the Problem Fit?

If you catch yourself slumping forward as you peer at your computer monitor, you may be experiencing headaches, back pain, or tightness in the neck or shoulders too. Researchers say daily stretching could make your body feel a lot better as your shoulders, neck, glutes and back become more flexible. At the same time it may ramp up your productivity.

How It Works

When I remember to keep stretching throughout the day, my body relaxes. I set an hourly reminder, pick stretches that I like and hold each one for 15 seconds or more.

Take Your Pick and Try It

If one stretch does not work for you, or feels painful, stop and choose another.

Shrug off shoulder tension - After an intense work session get the blood moving again. Lift the shoulders up toward the ears, squeeze hard for a second or two and then roll back down and relax. Do 8-10 reps Then roll the shoulders forward.

Reverse hunch chest stretch - Stay seated or stand up and move your arms behind you, lacing the fingers together if you can. Straighten the arms and gently lift the hands up until you feel a stretch in the chest. You can also put your forearms on either side of a doorway, and press forward until you feel a chest stretch.

Ease the lower back with a spinal twist - Release the tension with a gentle rotation. Sit with feet flat on the floor, contract the abs and rotate the torso to the right keeping hands on the chair arms. Keep the back straight and the hips square. Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.

Relieve forearms and wrists - After a long keyboard session, stretch the right forearm out with the hand turned down, fingers pointed toward the floor. Gently pull the fingers toward you with the left hand and hold for 10 seconds. Reverse and repeat on the opposite side.

If these stretches work for you, keep adding more to improve your day and loosen up your body. Inserting schedule breaks for walking meetings, having standing conferences or phone sessions, and using an alternating workstation that allows you to sit or stand will help too.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downers Grove, Ill.

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