Are you working the standard 9-to-5? While you might love your job, sitting down for the majority of the day is bad for your health. Research suggests a sedentary lifestyle can impact your heart, your body fat, and your brain. Needless to say, it’s crucial you balance this type of lifestyle with a healthy dose of regular activity and good nutrition.
However, once you leave the office, you might find your muscles feel out of sorts. Aches, pains, and cramps are common symptoms of having sat down for too long. The first step is to loosen things up. Here are some of the best stretches for people who sit a lot.
5 Stretches for People Who Sit a Lot
1. Shoulder and Back Stretch
Bad posture is one of the negative side effects of leading a sedentary lifestyle. You may find yourself slouching forward during the workday, especially if you happen to use a computer. This stance is uncomfortable and unhealthy over time. This stretch should pull your shoulders back, opening up your chest and back muscles.
Stand up and hold a rope or band behind your back, with one end in each hand. Make sure it’s pulled as tight as possible. While keeping your arms straight, lift the rope upward to a point that feels comfortable, then hold.
2. Spine Twist
You should never overlook the impact that sitting has on your lower back. If you do not have proper lumbar support, you will likely find your lower back starts to ache toward the end of the day. To relieve that feeling as fast as possible, there is an easy stretch you can do from the comfort of your office chair.
Keep your feet flat on the ground in front of you and move your torso slowly to the left. Be sure to keep your core strong and your abs contracted during this move. You can use your left arm to guide the twist and get a more effective move. Next, turn to the right side. Repeat as much as needed.
3. Star Stretch
It might feel as though your entire body is crumbled up. The fact of the matter is you have contorted yourself to fit a small space for the duration of the day. Luckily, there is a stretch you can do that will open up your body.
The star stretch gets its name because it looks just like a star. Stand with your legs a little more than hip-width apart and reach your arms upward and outward. Keep your palms flat and facing forward and stretch your fingers out too. To get a deeper stretch, you might want to stand on your tiptoes and focus on reaching for the sky.
4. Neck Stretch
Sitting in the same position all day long can lead to a whole load of tension in your neck. If you spend the day staring at a computer screen, it’s important to make sure you release some of that strain. Before you know it, this tension could build up and cause you aches along with stiffness.
A simple neck stretch is not hard to master. In fact, you can do it in your chair. Reach down and hold the bottom of your chair with your right hand and pull tight. Tilt your head to the left and feel the stretch along the side of your neck. Hold this position for about 20 seconds. When you are done, reverse sides and repeat the stretch.
Psst! Something like the PostureMedic will also work wonders in helping you straighten up and improve posture.
5. Deep Lunge Stretch
Your lower body will also need a deep stretch after hours of sitting around. You might find your muscles feel tight and a little inflexible after a long day in the office. A deep lunge stretch will help you to deal with that problem head-on.
Start from a standing position and lunge one leg forward so the knee is at a 90-degree angle. Push forward and lean into the stretch. You might want to place your palm on the floor as you do so. Hold the stretch, then switch sides and repeat.
What are you waiting for? You might not be able to do all that much about sitting around all day, but you can stretch out your muscles. Following this super easy routine each day could give your body the relief it needs. Give it a go!