Many of our clients work in an office, and with the start of school, many more of our clients (or their children) are finding themselves sitting in a chair for anywhere from 2-6 hours at a time. Sitting in a chair is much like eating too much sugar; the affects may not be seen immediately, but the damage it does is very difficult to reverse. We understand it’s not feasible to come in daily for a massage, so we’ve put together a list of stretches you can do in the office, or at home, that will help you combat some of the aches and pains you experience from sitting way too much.
First and foremost, if you can help it, try not to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time; even if that means getting up and walking around your cubicle, it will do wonders for your circulation and your joints. If you work in a home office, keep your phone on the other side of the room. This will force you to get up every time the phone rings! If that’s not possible, try to take a short, five minute walk every hour. The point is to get your blood circulating to avoid clots, and to keep your joints ‘oiled’ up as well.
- If it’s possible to do some stretches at your desk, try to incorporate some or all of these in intermittently with your short breaks:
- Pull your right elbow over your head with your left hand. Your fingers should touch your left shoulder. Stretch for a count of ten, and then switch. *Try to keep your neck as straight as possible.
- Stretch out your legs and try to touch your toes. Hold for 20 seconds, release, and try again as you see fit.
- Lift your left knee and wrap your arms around it; hug the knee to your chest by pulling it towards you and hold to a count of 10. Switch knees.
- Place your left hand over your right ear and gently pull your head towards your left shoulder. Hold for a count of ten and switch sides.
- Roll your head slowly in a clockwise rotation, stop, and go counterclockwise (this is good to do immediately after the previously mentioned stretch).
- Stretch your arm up, and over your head, leaning your body in the opposite direction of the extended arm. Hold for as long as comfortable and switch arms.
- A good stretch for those who do a lot of typing: fold your right hand fingers with your left hand and stretch your hand palm facing up (you’ll feel the stretch along your wrist and up the arm). Switch hands. Afterwards, reach both arms out, palms facing out to feel the stretch along the side and front of your arms. This works very well in combatting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Stretches alone will not completely banish your office-body pain, but it will help to alleviate it until your next session with us!