The stretches to do beside your desk today
Heading to a workout after a long day at the office can be tough for more reasons than one. If you’ve ever felt like your hips, lower back and shoulders were irregularly tight after sitting at your desk all day, you’ll know that your sesh can feel all the more difficult.
“While in my ideal world everyone would have stand up desks, sadly that is not going to happen in the immediate future for most office workers, so we need to take some other measures to ensure that we keep on top of our health while at work,” says chiropractor, Dr Steven Lockstone.
Dr Lockstone tells us that as a general rule, we should be getting up from our desks every hour to have a stretch or go for a short walk. Even if it’s as simple as walking to the water filter to top up our water bottle.
But if you’re getting to the end of a work day and feeling stiff and sore (who isn’t?) then these exercises can help to relieve some of the aches caused by all-day sitting. Dr Lockstone suggests doing them in your office space, once or twice a day to aid mobility and give your muscles a release.
For this exercise, you simply tilt your pelvis back and forward while sitting in your chair. Start by tilting your hips up and rounding your back. Your body should look like it is in a C shape. Then tilt your hips back, suck your stomach in and do a micro back bend.
This exercise will help to move the energy around your body, but it’s also a great exercise to help offset lower back pain, which is one of the most common complaints of office workers.
This is a great exercise to help offset shoulder and neck pain.
Stand straight with your shoulders back and your stomach pulled in tight.
Tilt your right ear down towards your right shoulder. While you do this, leave your left arm hanging to help increase the stretch. Hold for a minute and then switch sides.
Do this exercise slowly as you can get a pretty deep stretch without doing too much and you don’t want to overdo it.
Take a knee
This is a great stretch for tight hip flexors.
Kneel down on your right knee, and position your left foot in front of you for balance. Your left leg should be in a right angle (or thereabouts).
Now shift your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch in the hip flexor. Hold for 20- 30 seconds and swap sides.
All over body stretch
If you’re finding that you are lacking in energy, particularly around the dreaded 3pm slump, then try this energizing all over body stretch.
Simply stand up straight with your feet hip width apart. Squeeze your glutes and your stomach and stretch your arms above your head. Feel free to hold your hands together in a pistol style grip. You want to feel long, as if you are trying to reach for the ceiling.
Keeping your body strong and stretching upwards, tilt to the right at the waist. Your hips should not move, just your upper body. Hold that position for a few seconds, then reset and go to the other side.
Dr Steven Lockstone has been a chiropractor for over 10 years. He has had three successful clinics in Melbourne and is currently based in Edgecliff, Sydney. (www.drstevenlockstone.com.au)
Dr Steven has also launched the HealthPro network (www.healthpros.com.au) which is Australia’s largest private network of Chiropractors.