As we mentioned briefly in our Applying Balance To Your Life blog post, spending long hours at your computer can put your health at risk. Most people don’t even consider the possibility, but constantly working at a desk can be extremely hard on your body. So we are sharing our favorite strategies to break up the day-to-day monotony, so hopefully, our desk-bound readers can alleviate some of these common health risks. Plus, even if you are not desk-bound, moving and stretching throughout the day is fantastic for your energy!
- Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
What is the problem with sitting in a chair all day? Most office chairs aren’t ergonomically designed to fit the human body and create a rounded curvature in the spin instead of the proper slightly arched curvature as the spine is supposed to be. What also happens is your hip flexors (the muscles that connect your trunk to your leg) are shortened because your hips are now sitting in a 90-degree angle instead of fully extended as when we are standing up straight, like we are built to do. This compromises the muscles so when you do stand up they are very tight and your pelvis is tilted forward. This is where the Hip Flexor Stretch comes in. Kneel along the side of your desk and put one knee on the ground like you’re going to propose to someone. Then stretch the front side of the legs that is down by pushing your hips forward. Switch legs and do the other side. That’s it!
- Seated Glute Stretch
Sitting in a chair for many hours on your bum causes the glute muscles to go to sleep and become inactive. Inactivity causes them to stiffen up. For an amazing glute stretch, sit on the edge of your chair and cross one leg over the other. If you have a tight hip, your knee is going to be really high, so just pushing it down toward parallel with the ground will be a great stretch alone. Then make sure you are sitting up straight with your chest out, push down on one knee, and lean forward while arching your back. Repeat on the other side.
- Doorway Pec and Back Stretch
After spending hours leaning to reach a mouse, leaning to read a computer screen, or hunched forward typing, your shoulders roll in and your pec muscles get shorter. You will start to feel that same tightness we talked about in your hip flexors from sitting too long. To stretch your pecs simply stand up and find a doorway. Grab the door frame with one hand and place that same foot forward and lean in to get that nice elongated feeling. To do the same thing for a tense back that needs to be stretched and awakened, grab the door frame with one hand and space both feet equally side by side and lean back into your hips. This will help stretch your back muscles out to where they are originally intended to be.
Get up from your chair every hour, spend 5 minutes doing these stretches, and you will have increased energy and clarity; and feel much better as well! Comment below and let us know which of these techniques you have tried and your results!