“Working from home during lockdown can cause your muscles and bones to ache. Whether you’re propped up at a kitchen table, in the shed, or maybe you’ve erected a hammock in the living room… Anyway, you may not have the same supportive setup that you would in an office. Your shoulders, neck or back may start aching after a long day spent sitting down awkwardly.
These kinds of aches and pains can make us more uncomfortable and less productive. That’s why we are here to show you the 6 best stretches to do while working. These stretches are simple and specifically designed for you to do at your desk, or wherever you choose to work.
1. Neck Rotations
Start at the top of your body with neck rotations. Make sure you sit up straight, keep your head upright, and gently turn your head from side to side. As you turn your head, attempt to move it past your shoulders. The muscles on the outside of your neck should feel gradual stretching.
2. Shoulder Stretch
Moving on to the shoulders, hold one arm across your body, and pull your elbow towards your chest. Hold for around 5 seconds before switching arms – you should feel a light stretch in your shoulders while doing this exercise.
3. Shoulder Extension
Loosening up your shoulder muscles will help to reduce tension, and the physical feelings of stress. To achieve the Shoulder Extension stretch, link your fingers and hold your hands above your head with your palms facing up, reach as high as possible without causing yourself pain. You should feel your shoulders stretching while doing the Shoulder Extensions.
4. Spinal Rotations
The back, or spine is one of the most affected areas while working, particularly if your work environment is not ideal. For the Spine Rotations, cross your arms over your chest while seated, then grab your shoulders, rotate your upper body from the waist, turn slowly from right to left as far as feels comfortable. You should feel both sides of your lower back stretch as you rotate.
5. Sitting Back Extensions
As mentioned in the previous exercise, the back is a key area to target with your stretches. Execute the Sitting Back Extensions by sitting straight with your feet together, place the palms of your hands into the lower part of your back. Lean back over your hands until you feel your lower back stretch out.
6. Seated Knee to Chest Stretch
It’s important to stretch your whole body, including your lower half. It may not seem like a priority to stretch your hips and legs as you are less likely to feel pain there while working at a desk, but the whole body is connected, so it is important not to miss any muscles out. While seated lift your knee until you can reach it with your hands. Use both hands to pull your knee toward your chest, you should feel a gentle stretch in your hips and legs. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat around 5 times on each side.
Bonus: Are you sitting comfortably?
Stretching at your desk is an effective way to relieve muscle pain, but it is more important to be comfortable at your desk. Having a solid set up and the proper equipment can prevent any pain starting. Here’s a handy reminder of how to create a perfect ergonomic office at home.
Is your office chair right for you and your body shape? Make sure you check out our blogs for the best office chair for taller people, and the best office chair for shorter people.”
By: Richard Edwards
Published: 10th December 2020