Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day can take a serious toll on your health. Not only can it lead to chronic back pain, but it can cause weight gain, high cholesterol, and heart disease. This neutral position affects your back, shoulders, neck, and overall health. Luckily, you can always take a few minutes out of your busy work schedule to stretch, helping to alleviate these aches and pains.
People tend to hunch over their desk, which can put a serious strain on your back. The following are stretches that specifically target your back to release built up pressure.
Low back release – Turn sideways in your chair. Grab the back of the chair and gently twist your abdomen towards the back of the chair. For example, if you are sitting with the left side of your abdomen facing the back of the chair, you will twist your abdomen to the left. Hold for a few seconds, and then release.
For another stretch, from the same starting position, grab the back of the chair with the hand closest to it. Then, take your other hand and reach forward, grabbing the leg of the chair that is closest to your opposite leg (ex. if you are reaching with your right hand, grab the leg of the chair closest to your left leg).
Upper back stretch – This stretch will target your upper back, and you can do it either seated or standing. Begin by stretching your arms out in front of you. Interlace your fingers together, with your palms facing out. Now, stretch your arms forward, and as you do so, contract your abs and round out your back. Imagine there is a big ball in your lap that you have to curve yourself over. You should feel a stretch in your upper back, shoulders, and traps.
Neck and Shoulder Stretches
In addition to hurting your back, long hours in a neutral position can affect your shoulders and neck as well. These stretches will target those areas, providing relief.
Neck stretch – While sitting normally in a chair, grab the right side of the chair with your right hand. Tilt your head to the left. You can gently pull it away to create a deeper stretch. Do not use your other hand to literally pull your head, just imagine your head is getting gently tugged in the opposite direction. Hold for a few seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
Shoulders stretch – Stand with one arm facing a wall. Begin to slowly move your arm in a clockwise circular motion along the side of your body, while keeping your arm straight. It should look like you’re making a large circle on the wall next to you. Do this for a few seconds, then begin to move it in a counter-clockwise circle. After you’ve done this for a few seconds, switch to the other arm.
These are just a few stretches you can use to keep your muscles stimulated during long work days. If chronic pain continues to hinder your ability to work or your daily life, please contact Tarpon Total Health Care at (727) 934-0844 to discuss further chiropractic care options.