Stretches You Can Do at Work to Reboot Your Energy

Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 3:27pm

By Michele Silence, MA

So you sit at a desk all day, get up occasionally, and feel stiff. You then walk a few steps and sit right back down again. If this sounds like a typical day at work, you can benefit from some simple stretches done right at your desk. Each takes only take a minute or two. You can break up the day, circulate blood through your muscles, feel more alive, and help give your body relief from being the same position for hours and hours on end.

Before doing any stretches, be sure your body is warm so the muscles will more easily release. Talk a walk up and down some stairs or around the entire floor once. Do something for just a few minutes that will make your heart beat faster and get blood moving into your muscles. Then, hold each of the following for 15-30 seconds:

1. Torso Turn

To Do: Sit in your chair and reach for the back, turning to the side as far as you can reach. Repeat in the other direction.

2. Overhead Reach

To Do: Sit with your hand behind the neck, elbow lifted towards the ceiling. Lift the elbow higher to the ceiling and slightly to the side, keeping the lift as you lean. Repeat the other side.

3. Open the Chest

To Do: Bring both hands behind your chair and clasp hands together. Lift arms into the air as far as you are able.

4. Neck Tilt

To Do: Place fingertips underneath your seat on both sides of your body. Hold firmly while tilting the head to one side, ear to shoulder. Repeat on the other side.

5. Hamstring/Calf Stretch

To Do: Prop a leg up on a chair or open desk drawer. Keeping the leg straight, lean down over it. Pull the toes towards you for a deeper stretch in the lower leg. Repeat the other side.

6. Cross Legs

To Do: Cross your legs. Lean forward while bringing the chest as close to the knee as possible. Repeat on the other side. For a deeper stretch, place outside of the foot on opposite knee and lean forward.

Usually, when sitting for long periods of time, some muscles become overstretched while others never get stretched. By using the exercises above you can balance out your flexibility, help energize your body, and revitalize your day.

*This article is intended for general information purposes only, is not individual-specific, nor is it intended to replace the advice of your healthcare team.