Stop What You’re Doing and Stretch

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By now we know the human body wasn’t designed to sit for 8 to 10 hours a day. Our bodies are meant to be in motion more than they’re stationary, and studies have shown that sitting for more than half the day significantly increases the risk of diabetes and heart problems, along with a host of muscle aches and pains.

And therein lies the problem; for us office workers, we don’t have a choice. Most of us are required to sit at a desk for long periods of time. That’s where stretching comes in. Doing some quick stretches at your workstation every hour or so can get the body moving and stimulate blood flow, reducing the pain and strain associated with long bouts of sitting.

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Try these quick and easy stretches at work:

  • Shoulder rolls. Slowly raise your shoulders toward your ears, and hold for three seconds. Then roll your shoulders back and down, relax, and repeat. This releases tension built up from using a mouse and sitting over a desk.
  • Shoulder blade pull. Lock your fingers behind your head and bring your elbows back as far as you can. Squeeze your shoulder blades together for ten seconds. You should feel a stretch in your upper back and chest.
  • The arm reach. Reach your hands out away from your body, and lock your fingers and turn your palms out. Straighten your arms as much as you can, and repeat twice.
  • The wrist flex. Again raise your arms out in front of you, this time with your palms facing down and fingers flat. Extend your wrists so your fingers are pointing up, and hold for a few seconds before reversing direction to point down. Repeat 3 times.
  • Touch your toes. The old classic. Stand up with your feet together, knees bent slightly, and reach down toward your toes. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and lower back.

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Categories: Ergonomics