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Human beings are built for movement. Yet most of the modern-day work confines us to chairs and desks for hours. With work-from-home becoming the new norm, you will have extra hours to spend in front of screens now.
According to Mayo Clinic, sitting in a bad posture, lack of movement, and spending more than four hours of screen time a day can make you susceptible to a plethora of health concerns like obesity, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels. It also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Ergonomic chairs can help prevent temporary backaches but we still need a better and more effective long term solution.
This is where Stretching comes in.
An easy, simple, and cost-effective solution to loosen your muscles and keep them active throughout the day.
But wait! I know what you’re thinking.
Who has the time to get away from work and stretch away, right?
Well, not when you consider the fact that the simple act of stretching during mini-breaks will boost your blood circulation throughout your body, including your brain, to help revitalize your mind for better productivity when you return to work.
Increased blood flow to your muscles and joints will make your body more active, reducing the chances of feeling drowsy during work hours.
And lastly, we all know how relaxing it feels after a good stretch.
A relaxed body and a peaceful mind are all you need to return back to work and deliver more efficiently.
Here are twelve stretches that you can try-out during your work break and integrate them into your perfect work-from-home routine for a productive and healthy lifestyle.
- Stretch 1: Stand up or sit up straight. Drop your right ear on your right shoulder to stretch the left side of your neck. Repeat on the left side to stretch the right side of your neck.
- Stretch 2: Tuck your chin on the chest. Slowly turn your chin towards the left shoulder and hold for 10s, then move it towards your right shoulder and hold for 10s.
- Stretch 3: Raise both of your shoulders at once towards your ears, hold, then drop them.
- Stretch 4: Stand up or sit up straight. Keep your arms by the side and shoulders down. Keeping your head and neck stable, roll your shoulders forward, up, then back to complete a circle. Repeat the circle 10 times in one direction, then 10 in the opposite direction.
Chest and Back
- Stretch 5: Clasp your hands behind your back by interlocking your fingers. Raise the chin and push your chest outward for 10-30s.
- Stretch 6: Lift your arms above your head and interlock your fingers with the palms facing upwards. Push your arms above to stretch your back. Repeat 10 times.
- Stretch 7: Clasp your arms in front of you. Press forward and drop your head in between the arms. Hold for 10-30s.
- Stretch 8: Raise your right arm and bend it completely to touch the back of your shoulder. Hold the elbow and pull it towards your head with the other arm. Hold for 10-30s. Repeat with the other arm.
- Stretch 9: Extend one arm overhead and pull it to the other side bending your upper body. Hold for 10-30s. Repeat on the other side.
- Stretch 10: Stand up or sit straight on a chair. Keep your feet firmly on the ground facing forward. Rest your right arm across the backrest of the chair. Twist your upper body to the right completely. (You would be able to see your face straight if there was a mirror behind you) Hold for 10-30s. Repeat on the other side.
- Stretch 11: Stand up and use the chair for support. Raise your heel and hold for 5-10s. Repeat 10-20 times.
- Stretch 12: Stand up. Extend your arms overhead and interlock the fingers. Start moving the arms forward and bend your body until you face your knees. Hold the position for 5s to stretch your leg and back. Repeat 5-10 times.
Note: These stretches are our recommendations. If you feel pain, stop, and contact a medical professional.