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Stretch Your Work Tension Away!

By Donna Stark

If you have been sitting at your desk for hours and hours and your body is starting to scream in pain, you may need to take some action. Most experts recommend that you get up and move at least every hour or so to reduce the risk of damage that excessive sitting can cause, but are those experts sitting beside you in your cubicle? I ask that because it's easy to make a generalized recommendation, isn't it? And if you can't get up to take a walk every 60 minutes, then that recommendation really doesn't do much for you. So what can you do instead? Well, believe it or not, desk stretches may be exactly what you are looking for!

Long Days at Work

Even though sitting can be a welcomed relief, it's not always so great when you are stuck at your desk hour after hour. Those long days at work can be miserable if your body is tense and your muscles are stiff, but fortunately, you don't have to sit in that pain anymore! Take a look at the following stretches you can do without needing to get out of your chair.

  • Reach for the sky - Reach your arms toward the ceiling and stretch your torso out as much as you can while looking up and taking several deep breaths. Hold for a few seconds and then lean into the stretch from side to side.
  • Show your "guns" - Hold your arms to your sides at a 90-degree angle (as if you are showing off your muscles), pull your shoulder blades in, and stretch backward. This is a great way to stretch your upper body and chest.
  • Don't forget your legs - Stretch your legs without leaving your chair by straightening them out, planting your heels into the ground, and lifting your toes up. You can even turn this into a deeper stretch by leaning forward if you want.
  • Give your neck some love - Show your neck some love by moving your head in a slow circle, first in one direction and then the other. Remember to take it slow, though! You certainly don't want to strain it by rushing this movement.
  • Remember your hips - Push your chair back and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Bring the ankle as close to your torso as you can and with your right hand, lightly push down on your right knee. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides.

Finding Relief

In addition to reducing the pain and tension you may feel throughout the day, stretching at your desk can also help to improve focus, productivity, and your overall well-being, so start today! Get stretching and turn it into a healthy habit!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sunset Hills, Mo.

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