You've heard how sitting at your desk all day can be damaging to your health. Among other things, it can ruin your posture and give you aches and pains, particularly in your back. Here are some simple moves and stretches that can help alleviate back pain, and also add some movement to your day!
1. Replace your desk chair with an exercise ball
While sitting on a ball, your body has to use muscles it wouldn't use while sitting in a chair. This helps your body improve its balance and strength. This move is great for stretching muscles to alleviate lower back pain.
2. Torso twist
Start by facing forward in your chair. Then turn to the left, reach around with your right arm and grab the back of your chair. Slowly turn your body to face forward again. Next, turn to the right and reach the back of your chair with your left arm. Again, return slowly to facing forward. This stretch releases your upper body.
3. Leg extensions
Sit straight with your chair in a position where there is a bit of space in front of you. Grasp the sides of your chair and lift both legs in the air so they are parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes five times. Bring your legs back down, then repeat.
4. No-hands stand/sit
Starting in a sitting position, simply stand up and then sit down again without using your hands. This helps increase balance and gives your body a good stretch. It's a great exercise to do while you are on the phone.
5. Arm stretch
Reach your arm out in front of you parallel to the floor, with the palm of your hand facing up. Point your fingers downward and use the opposite hand to press your fingers back towards your torso as far as comfortable. Next, flip your hand over so your palm is facing away from you and your fingers are pointing upward, and press your fingers back towards your face. Repeat for the other arm.
Adding these stretches to your daily stint at the desk might seem small and insignificant. But so do the harmful effects of sitting in your office chair all day. And just as the harmful effects build up over time, so do these stretches help alleviate those effects over time. An added bonus: the stretches help keep your body limber between massages.
Scheduling regular massages will in turn enhance the benefits of these moves and stretches, so the combination will do wonders to help you combat the effects of sitting stiffly all day. Not only will you be using proven stretching techniques during the day to reduce the aches and pains that office work imposes on your body, you'll also be using massages to get rid of those aches and pains that are still left when the work day is done. Bottom line: doing your stretches and scheduling regular massages will put you on track to overcome some of the deadliest downsides of office life.