Sitting at a desk and working on the computer or doing paperwork for hours takes a toll on your body and posture. This accumulation of bad posture causes your shoulder muscles to weaken which can lead to less mobility and range of motion, then in turn making it difficult to lift your arms above your head. Blood flow in your limbs decreases, which doesn’t allow your muscles to receive the oxygen it needs to be healthy causing them to weaken as well. Sitting slouched for a long period of time also increases the risk of developing arthritis in your spine due to the muscles being shortened and relaxed. The slouch also compresses the diaphragm making it more difficult for the lungs to produce the amount of oxygen our bodies need to function.
So with that in mind, here are a few quick stretches that will give you some relief and get those muscles doing what they need to be dong:
How to: Sitting with palms on the knees, inhale and roll shoulders back pushing the chest out. Then exhale rounding the back, bringing chin to chest. Do 10 times.
How to: cross leg over the other leg, place opposite arm over the bent leg (right leg crossed over, left arm over leg and vise versa). Using the other arm grab the top of the chair and twist the upper body. Hold for 12 seconds and switch legs.
Hip Flexors Stretch
How to: Sit on the edge of a chair, move one leg behind you and tuck your buttocks under the hips. Then repeat with the opposite leg. This should be a gentle stretch that is felt in the side of the hip that the leg is bent on and in the thigh. Hold for 12 seconds for each leg.
The Chiropractic Office of Dr. Gene Ross dares you to try and take 60 second breaks here and there to stretch out those cramping muscles to refocus your brain on the task at hand. Some additions to the stretches, add a back support to the chair, switch out the chair for a balance ball chairs, or remove the chair completely and stand at your desk. These stretches and the additional tactics will help with your range of motion, blood flow, lung capacity, and organ function.
Moor, Ashley. “This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Sit All Day.” This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Sit All Day, 6 May 2019, www.msn.com/en-s/kids/other/this-iswhat-happens-to-your-body-when-you-sit-all-day/ar-AAAZtIH?li=BBnb7Kz
“Neck Pain Prevention: Side-to-Side Head Rotation Exercise.” SpineUniverse, 13 June 2014, www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/exercise/neck-pain-prevention-side-side-head-rotation.
“Seated Cat Cow Pose.” Seated Cat Cow Pose Yoga (Upavistha Bitilasana Marjaryasana) | Yoga Sequences, Benefits, Variations, and Sanskrit Pronunciation | Tummee.com, www.tummee.com/yoga-poses/seated-cat-cow-pose.
“Seated Hip Flexors and Quadriceps Stretches.” Www.arthritis.org, www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/walking/videos/hip-flexors-and-quadriceps-seated.php.