5 Simple Stretches for Your Biggest Work Posture Problems
By now we all at least vaguely know that sitting for long hours (aka all day, every day), repetitive motions like keyboard clacking, and bad posture are a way to slowly turn your body into an achy hellscape. Scientists say stretching multiple times a day is helpful in a myriad of ways, from increasing blood flow to helping with conditions like depression. So we rounded up a few common stretches to try next time we catch ourselves in one of these compromising work-chair positions.
You know your body best, so don’t try anything that doesn’t feel good to you. Check with someone with legit credentials on performing any and all stretches correctly and safely.
If your leg shakes faster than you type
A simple move to start with is a nice hip stretch to loosen up your lower body. To start, sit with your feet flat on the floor. Then bring your right foot to your left knee and lift your upper body to stretch. Hold for a few seconds and then switch. Doesn’t that feel a little better?
If your hands are stuck in a claw position
It’s time to stretch those wrists and paws. Stretch both hands out in front of you with clenched fists, then make circles with each hand in the air for a few seconds. Change your rotation direction after 10 seconds. Now get back to furiously typing up that memo for your boss, or that tweet you’ve been wordsmithing for 20 minutes.
If you’re turning into a cashew
It’s hard to keep good posture while sitting down, but there are stretches to help. Elongate the muscles in your neck with a cervical lateral bend. It’s easier than it sounds: Sit up straight and flex your neck to bring your ear towards your shoulder. Hold it there for a few seconds and then switch.
If you just need to give up for a minute
Some of the best stretches are the ones where it feels like you’re folding in on yourself. Try a seated forward fold if you simply need a moment to collapse. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and knees together. As you exhale, round your shoulder and bend towards your legs. Let your head and arms drop naturally.
If you can’t turn your head when the barista calls out your coffee order
As Chubby Checker would attest, sometimes you have to just twist it out. Keep your feet flat on the floor, facing forward. Rest one hand on the back of your chair. Twist your body in the direction of the arm resting on the back of your chair. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.