As a working professional, it’s not uncommon to feel the effects of sitting at a desk for hours on end. From neck and shoulder pain to back discomfort and hip stiffness, the toll of a sedentary lifestyle can be felt throughout the body.
What’s the solution? Plan simple stretches to do during your mid-day break.
The good news is that incorporating stretches into your daily work routine can help you counteract the negative effects and even prevent more serious joint health issues down the road and also you will gain benefits such as:
- Better mood at work
- Higher energy and alertness
- Refocus your mind
- Relax your body
- Improve your overall well-being
- Improve flexibility and motion in joints
- Reduce stiffness in muscles
If you’re sitting for 8 hours straight at your desk, remember that your neck, hamstrings, spine and hips suffer the most. Unwind with this quick mid-day stretching routine.
Stretching can help maintain a healthy workplace by reducing muscle tension and improving mental focus. Because when we sit at a desk for long periods, our muscles can become stiff and sore, leading to discomfort and even injury. In this blog, we will explore some simple stretches that you can do during your mid-day break to help relieve tension and improve circulation.
What are some simple stretches that can be done at home or in the office?
1. Overhead Stretch
Overhead stretch is an exercise that can be performed anytime, anywhere and by anyone. Anyone of any fitness level can perform this workout. Especially for people who spend long hours sitting at a desk or performing repetitive tasks, it is helpful for them to remove tension, relieve muscle pain and stiffness, and improve posture.
To perform the stretch:
- Inhale and raise your arms above your head, and push towards the ceiling.
- Exhale and bring the palms to the chest.
- Keep your arms straight.
2. Neck Rolls
Neck pain is a common issue for many people with desk jobs. Especially people with desk jobs put a heavy strain on their necks. This stretch helps relieve tightness in the sides and back of your neck, reduces neck pain and improves flexibility.
How to perform Neck Rotation exercise correctly:
- Gently rotate your head anticlockwise.
- Slowly bring your head back to the middle.
- Now, slowly rotate your head in the other direction.
- Repeat this 3-4 times.
3. Side Bend Stretch
Seated Side Bend, also known as Parsva Sukhasana, is a yoga posture that involves a gentle stretch of the side body while seated. It is a beginner pose that opens up the hips, improves spinal mobility, reduces neck and back pain, increases overall flexibility and corrects rounded shoulders. This posture can be done on both sides to balance the stretch.
How to perform this simple exercise:
- Raise your arms above your head.
- Slowly bend your body to the left and then to the right.
- Repeat this movement a few times.
4. Seated pigeon pose
The seated figure four glute stretch or pigeon pose is a simple stretch exercise that targets the muscles in the glutes and hips. It is often used to help alleviate lower back pain by releasing tension in these muscle groups, relieving tight hips, reducing fatigue and improving posture.
To perform this simple stretch:
- Sit on your chair and bring one leg over the other, ankle to knee forming a figure four (i.e. cross your legs).
- Slowly lean forward as far as you can from the hips and bring your fingertips towards the floor.
- Keep your arms straight.
- You should feel the stretch in your buttocks.
- Hold the position for a few seconds.
5. Spinal Twists
Standing spinal twists is a simple and satisfying way to stretch your lower back if you are struggling with back pain. The spinal twists stretch your spine and strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, improve the flexibility of the spine and helps reduce back pain.
How to perform:
- Extend your arms in front and gently twist from the waist to the right.
- Breathe in, and come back to the center.
- Breathe out, and repeat the same on your left side.
- Repeat this a few times.
6. Arm Rotation
Arm rotation works on relaxing the muscles of your shoulder. By performing this workout in a routine you can release physical tension, stress and anxiety which is increased because of our sedentary lifestyle. It is also great for warming up your shoulders.
How to perform it correctly:
- With feet shoulder-width apart, start circling your arms
- Next, do the same in the other direction
- Repeat this a couple more times
7. Chest Extension
Chest extension is the answer if you spend most of your day hunched over while sitting at a computer screen, as it targets the shoulder and chest muscles. The chest muscles are responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joints and improving mobility, reducing the risk of shoulder injuries and strengthening the upper body. Therefore, it’s important to add chest extensions to your day-to-day lifestyle.
How to perform:
- Raise the arms forward to shoulder height and bend the elbows.
- Bring the forearms together.
- Stretch the chest muscles.
In addition to physical benefits, these simple stretches can also help reduce stress and improve mental focus. Taking a few minutes to stretch and breathe deeply can help you feel refreshed and re-energized, improving their overall well-being and productivity.
By encouraging yourself to take breaks and stretch throughout the day, and by priortizing exercising you can create a positive and productive work environment. So, whether you’re working from home or in an office setting, taking a few minutes to stretch can make a world of difference in how you feel and perform throughout the day.
2 mins simple stretches with O’Coach app:
By taking just a few minutes each day to stretch with the O’Coach app, you can priortize your health and help maintain a healthy workplace. O’Coach app is useful to incorporate stretching into your daily routine. With the app, you can create custom stretching exercise that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences. The app also provides you voice guidance and workout videos for exercises, ensuring you get the most out of your stretching routine while minimizing the risk of injury.
Download the 100% free O’Coach custom workout app to perform your daily 2-5 mins workout with the O’Coach app and:
- You can also create your own custom workout routine according to your need and preferences.
- You can add exercise reminder schedules based on your convenience and requirements.
- You can create a small community with your friends and supporting family members to keep you motivated and ensure progress.