Working from home is very different from working in an office setting. Many of us have found this out in the past few weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may have found you are spending more time sitting and less time moving around. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can have a negative impact on your neck, back, posture and health overall. But a couple of quick stretches throughout the day can relieve these issues.
Here we’ll talk about the benefits of stretching regularly and offer up some quick stretches you can do daily as you work from home.
benefits of stretching regularly
Stretching is very beneficial. It’s particularly important for anyone who works on a computer while seated during the day. Here are the key benefits of stretching regularly:
- improves your posture
- increases flexibility
- increases blood flow
- it’s good for stress relief
- helps to prevent back pain
- it can help calm your mind
- it can help you to decompress and refocus
stretches to integrate into your day
There are countless stretches you can integrate into your day. Most you can do when seated in your office chair.
Tilt your head forward and move it in a circle from left to right and then do it in the opposite direction.
Sit up straight. Lift your shoulders up as high as you can, as if you were shrugging your shoulders. Slowly roll your shoulders back. Do the same in the opposite direction.
reach for the sky
Put both arms in the air and reach up as far as you can. You should feel the stretch in your shoulders and upper back. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times.
Put your arms out to the side and pull your arms as far back as you can comfortably to feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times.
Turn your shoulder and grab the opposite chair arm. Grab the left chair arm with your right hand. Pull your shoulder around to the front without moving your lower body or hips. You’ll feel the stretch in your shoulder and lower back. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times.
wrist and forearm stretch
Extend your arm, palm up. Slowly pull back your fingers using your opposite hand. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat as needed.
Sit on the edge of your chair. Cross one ankle over top of the opposite knee. Gently lean forward. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Stand up with your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend over at the waist. Allow your arms and your head to hang. You’ll feel a stretch in your lower back, hamstrings and along your spine. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat as needed.
Perform each of these stretches multiple times per day to help reduce tension, tightness, and the negative effects of sitting for too long.
Note: If you’re not sure how to do a specific stretch or are looking for additional stretches you can do, there are lots of great instructional videos on YouTube and Instagram.
Whether you are working from home or any type of office setting, it’s important to stay active and nimble. Stretching can have a big impact on how you feel throughout the day. Combine this with other activities such as yoga, meditation, Pilates, and regular walks to help keep your body feeling strong.