In today’s world every individual either professional, home maker or student is having a stressful and busy life schedule.
Most of the time they spend long working hours on chairs and this has negative effect on the body. Sedentary life for long increases the pressure on spinal disc, as a result, the pelvic muscles becomes tight.
It’s being advocated that frequent stretching of neck, shoulders, mid and lower back, arms etc. should be done in order to help in proper supply of blood and nutrients to the working muscles and tissues.
Taking regular breaks to move around and stretch are one of the easiest ways to make yourself more comfortable and keep yourself mobile during your work day.
The benefits of workplace stretching include:
- Reduced risk like sprains and strains of the lower back, shoulders and knees.
- Reduced risk such as rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, tennis elbow and ‘Blackberry’ thumb.
- Reduced workplace stress
- Improved worker productivity
Few of the common and beneficial stretching exercises you can involve in your daily routine can be:
- Hold a water bottle (or anything that’s a similar weight) and let your arms fall to your sides.
- Slowly bend them upwards.
- Repeat until you have completed three sets of 12 reps each arm.
Benefit: This is particularly important exercise to tone your arms.
- Stretch your arms out to your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Face your palms down and draw small circles in the air with your arms (in a forward motion) 20 times.
- Then, repeat with your palms facing up towards the ceiling (moving backwards this time).
Benefit: In addition to warming up the shoulder joints, arm circles increase circulation to arms, fingers and shoulders.
- Sit with arms hanging loosely at the sides.
- Turn your head to the left side as far as possible. Hold for 15 counts. Feel the stretch on your neck.
- Then gently turn your head to the right side and repeat. Breathe normally.
Benefit: This simple stretch may help relieve neck pain and improve flexibility.
- Sit with your back straight and lift your hands sideways at shoulder level. Your palms should face forwards.
- Now gently push both hands towards your back to feel the stretch on your chest.
- Hold for 15 counts. Breathe normally.
Benefit: This stretch helps to open up your chest and loosens your biceps and the muscles of your shoulders. Also increases your flexibility and helps to improve blood circulation and posture.
Hands Overhead Stretch
- Lift your hands above your head and interlock your fingers.
- Now with your palm facing upward, push your arms slightly back and up. Feel the stretch in your arms, shoulders and upper back.
- Hold for 15 counts. Breathe normally.
Benefit: This stretching exercise helps Opening tight shoulders, Strengthening weak shoulders and arms, preventing lower back pain and getting rid of fatigue.
- Grab the seat of your chair to brace yourself and extend your legs straight out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor.
- Flex and point your toes five times. Release.
Benefit: Leg extensions are a key exercise in strengthening the patellar ligament and quadriceps attachment for the knee.
- Sit with your back straight. Now raise your right hand above your head.
- Place your left hand on the left side of your waist and slowly bend to the left as far as possible.
- Hold for 15 counts. Feel the stretch on your right side.
- Repeat on the other side. Breathe normally.
Benefit: Oblique’s are the muscles that allow us to rotate our torso and bend sideways. Stretching them regularly can improve posture and can help maintain a correct spinal alignment. Strong oblique’s add an extra support to the back muscles and prevent back pain and injury.
- Stretch the right arm out and turn the hand down so that the fingers point towards the floor.
- Use the left hand to gently pull the fingers towards you, feeling a stretch in the forearm.
- Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other hand.
Benefit: This stretching will help you improve your grip, reduce elbow and wrist strain, and increase your dexterity.
- Sit with your back straight. Lift your arms above head and bend both elbows so that your palms touch your back.
- Now, with your left hand, pull your right elbow towards your right ear so that the elbow points upwards. Remember to look straight.
- Hold for 15 minutes. Feel the stretch on your triceps.
- Repeat the stretch on the other side.
Benefit: The triceps stretch improves flexibility and range of motion. It’s important to stretchy our triceps to prevent soreness and tightening of the muscles.
- Lift the shoulders up towards the ears, squeezing them as hard as you can.
- Hold for 1-2 seconds and roll them back as you relax down.
- Repeat for 8-10 reps and then roll the shoulders forward.
Benefit: This helps strengthens your traps, which strengthens the stability of shoulder blades, keeping shoulders tall and upper back straight.
Upper Back Stretch
- Extend our arms in front at shoulder height. Interface fingers and turn palm downwards.
- Move forwards from the hip as far as possible
- Hold for 15 counts. Feel the stretch on your shoulder, middle back, arms, hands, fingers and wrist.
- Breathe normally.
Benefit: The stretch helps strengthen the muscles of your back, shoulders. Strong muscles can help improve posture, keep body in better balance, decrease chance of injury and reduce pain.
Note: Please obtain expert advice for carrying out any exercise based on your health and physical fitness.