Stretches for Office Workers

Stretches for Office Workers

Most of us have made an excuse for not stretching enough in our day to day. Sitting at a desk or standing at a workstation for prolonged periods of time during the work day can cause muscle tension, stiffness, strain, and fatigue in the neck, shoulders, wrists, arms, hands, back and legs.

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To prevent this, taking frequent rest breaks to stretch is important. So do yourself a favour, and make the time to do them!

Below is a list of stretches you can do throughout the work day – even right at your desk – that will help prevent muscle strain so you can keep working throughout the day more comfortably.

Upper Body

Here are stretches you can do comfortably from your desk chair. Click each photo to enlarge.

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Neck
This is a stretch of the upper trapezius.

Reach down and grab the side of the chair with the right hand.

Gently pull while tilting your head to the left, feeling a stretch down the right side of the neck and shoulder.

Hold for 30-60 seconds, 2-3 times per side.

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Shoulders
Raise the top of your shoulders towards your ears until you feel slight tension in your neck and shoulders.

Hold this feeling of tension for 10 seconds.

Then relax your shoulders downward into their normal position.

Repeat three times.

hand-stretch

Hands/Wrists
Grasp your hand and hold your fingers with the other hand.

Slowly bend your wrist down until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.

Then, slowly bend your wrist up until you feel the stretch, relax, and then repeat the same on opposite side.

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Back
This is a stretch of the Lattissimis dorsi.

Start by positioning yourself seated with your back straight to the chair.

Extend one arm overhead and reach the opposite side.

Hold for 30-60 seconds, and repeat two to three times per side.

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Upper Back Stretch
In a seated position, clasp hands together above your head with palms facing outward.

Push your arms up, stretching upward.

Hold for 30-60 seconds, repeating two to three times.

Lower Limbs

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Calves
Stand facing a wall with your arms straight in front of you and your hands flat against the wall.

Keep your right leg forward, foot flat on the floor, and extend your left leg straight back, placing your heel flat on the floor. Don’t bend your back knee. (fig. 1)

Lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat two to three times per side.

PRO-TIP: Another variation of this is to bend the back knee which will activate the soleus. (fig. 2)

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Hip Flexors
Start in a half kneeling position on a soft mat or pad.

While keeping a slight forward lean of the torso, tighten the core and contract the glute of the leg with the knee on the ground.

Shift the entire body slightly forward. Avoid excessive arching in your lower back. You should be able to feel this stretch at the front of the hip and upper thigh.

Hold for 30-60 seconds, repeating two to three times per leg.

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Glutes
Start seated in a chair.

Bring one ankle up onto the knee of the opposite leg.

While keeping your back straight, lean yourself forward. You should be able to feel a stretch in the glute.

Hold 30-60 seconds, repeat two to three times per leg.

Useful Desk Massage Products

These tools are small enough to keep on your desk, use them any time of the day. All of these great massage products are available at a Kintec near you!

Lyndsay Iezzi, B.Kin, C. Ped. (C)
Kintec Pedorthist

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