Office stretches to relax back pain and tension

Are you one of those people who spend most of their days sitting?

Whether in front of the computer at your work desk, or in front of the TV once back home, the sedentary lifestyle has become prevalent. Let’s not forget long car trips that are often neither too ergonomic nor comfortable. According to a survey conducted by Fellows 81% of UK office workers spend between 4 and 9 hours sitting every day, while 64% of them reported that their workplace environment has a negative effect on their health and well-being.
As a consequence, we should not be surprised that our bodies resent us or that all these hours of physical inactivity resulted in fatigue, tension or even pain in different parts of the body, such as the neck, lumbar region, legs and joints.
What to do to break from such a harmful routine, activate and relax your muscles in your office chair? Although our office space does not necessarily give us the freedom to move, we can still introduce small rituals into our daily routine so that we can exercise regularly in order to feel better.

The importance of physical activity

It has been proven that the solution to the majority of health problems affecting modern society lies in physical activity. Stress, mental overload, boredom – just keep up with your workout ! You’re not super proud of how you look – choose a sport and have fun doing it! It goes without saying that the key activity to get rid of worries (at least physical) in the office is to move your body whenever the opportunity arises! A solution that leaves no room for doubt.

Office stretches – how to relax your whole body at workplace?

Firstly, arrange your workplace to be more ergonomic in order to prevent  health problems. Remember to take frequent breaks throughout your workday to stretch your legs and always sit or stand up straight! A few simple exercises to do at your workplace generally consist of stretching the neck, trapezius, arms and legs in order to unlock muscle tightness, improve blood circulation and get a boost of energy. No need for a lot of space or equipment, all you need is your good will and motivation. In no time will you notice the positive effects!

Best office stretches to relieve back pain

Given that office workers mostly complain about back pain and discomfort, we have made a selection of exercises that prevent and reduce the tightness of different types of back muscles. Here are some simple stretching exercises you can do if you have upper or lower back pain or feel tightness in your shoulder blades.

Office stretches for the cervical vertebrae and trapezius

Starting position: Sit up straight in a chair. The feet are hip-width apart, the knees are at a 90 degree angle.
• Tilt your head to the side as if you wanted to touch your shoulder with your ear. Hold this position, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
• Turn your head to the side and try to bring it closer to your shoulder. Return to the original position and switch sides.
• Pull the chin back as if you wanted to create a double chin. Hold this position and release it afterwards.
• Raise your shoulders towards your ears without moving your head. Hold the position and relax. Then push the shoulders back, also making sure that the head does not move.

Stretches for the shoulders and shoulder blades

• Hold with one hand the wrist of the other hand above your head. Stretch the extended arm starting from the shoulder. Change hands.
• Interlace the fingers on the chest. Turn the palms and stretch the arms forward. Hold and return to the starting position.
• Cross your fingers behind your head. Alternately release the elbows forward and push them back to bring the shoulder blades together.

Office stretches for the lower back

• Spread your legs, lean your body forward and touch the floor with your hands.
• Turn to the side, further stretch the muscles of the spine by pushing the arm against the opposite knee. Hold the position, gently return to the starting position and switch sides.
• Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Place your palms on the lower back and gently push the body forward at the hips without bending the knees. Hold the position and then return to the starting position.

Since these exercises are really simple, it is in everyone’s interest to stay physically active, to reduce the amount time we spend sitting, prevent back pain and eventually improve your wellbeing.

How does breathing help with stretching?

If we want to enhance tension relief and muscle relaxation while stretching, we should learn how to breathe deeply by opting for simple breathing techniques. Among a large number of techniques, we have chosen one that can be done when almost anytime. Here are the instructions to follow:
Close your eyes. Breathe deeply for 5 seconds. During this time, remember the happy moments of your life and project yourself into them. Then exhale through your mouth, dismissing any negative thoughts. Repeat until you feel a sense of well-being.
Likewise, if we seek to remain productive and nurture the culture of well-being at work, it is very important to adopt healthy habits and find good mechanisms to improve the quality of life.

Getting a massage at your office desk?

For maximum positive results and deep muscle relaxation, why not reaching for a massage? Providing a professional masseur is not easy, but fortunately there is an equally effective solution. In a plethora of  high-performance electric massage devices, the German brand Donnerberg takes pride in three-function back massage cushion (shiatsu, tapping and infrared heat) that can relieve back pain in a very short time. The main advantage of this super powerful little heated massage cushion is that it you can use it hands free. Leaf through a file, sip your favorite herbal tea or enjoy checking notifications on your mobile phone while having a relaxing hand like back massage. You can massage your whole back, legs and feet to reach all the trigger points and relax stiff and sore muscles.

Which relaxation technique and stretching exercise do you prefer? Tell us about it in the comments section!

Free time and relaxation – how to make the most of it?

Each and every one of us has a different perception of what free time and relaxation is. Many will think of the inseparable trio – the sun, beach and the sea, while the others will be thinking of either mountain resorts, city breaks or food tasting tours. However, in recent years a growing number of travel agencies reoriented towards creating a new type of holidays suitable for all age groups, so called activity holidays. At the same time, according to the latest research, it is much better to take a few shorter breaks during the year than just go on one longer summer holiday. Besides the opportunity to experience different things, we are giving our body a chance to physically and mentally regenerate.

Outdoor activity breaks – recharge your batteries

To put it simply, an activity holiday is considered to be any holiday that involves spending free time in nature and taking part in different organized physical activities or sports. The aim of such a break is to help your body get rid of accumulated stress and toxins. After each physical activity we are supposed to feel relaxed, refreshed and regenerated.

Some of the most common summer activities  are certainly cycling, hiking, mountaineering and horse riding. In winter skiing and snowboarding are among the most popular.  Whitewater rafting is also gaining popularity in recent years. Adrenaline addicts, adventure lovers and even hedonists are opting for organized activity tours down the whitewater rapids with experienced skippers. Let us not not forget to mention canoeing and kayaking, onto the rivers, lakes or the sea.

It is extremely important to treat muscle soreness after each outdoor activity. Experts recommend stretching and muscle relaxation after strenuous exercises. Not only do swimming in thermal water or a gentle massage perfectly accompany any type of training, they are a good recipe for complete enjoyment.

Wellness and spa centres

For some of us the real holiday is nothing more than pure relaxation. The first association to the word relaxation are spas, thermal water and massage. The benefits and healing effects of massage therapy have been known for ages. Nowadays these effects are even more highly appreciated when stress, hustle and bustle of everyday life and daily hectic schedule do not leave enough time for proper relaxation. We can treat ourselves to regular massages which can be quite an inexpensive option if you happen to live near a spa or hotel. It only takes a bit of time and good will. A good company is always a plus, but it is not necessary for a complete zen experience.

A quiet evening at home with your favourite book or film

For the majority of people the idea of a perfect break would be a quiet night at home in the company of a good book or a film, a cup of tea or a glass of wine, especially if you don’t have too much spare time.

Besides reading, it is also possible to do some kind of meditation or breathing exercises for a whole body regeneration. Let us remember that happiness lies in the little things and that it is usually at your fingertips.

Anytime anywhere

No matter whether you are a thrill-seeker or just love to dedicate some time to yourself and your wellbeing, the goal we all have is probably the same –  indulge in a pleasant activity and recharge for the upcoming challenges.

Unfortunately, we are well aware of the fact that in the time to come we will not always have time nor conditions for outdoor activities or sports. However, this certainly does not mean that we should completely give up on them. The benefits of relaxation and proper rest can be achieved in other ways as well. One of them is definitely the use of electric massagers, especially the cordless ones. Our choice is Donnerberg cordless neck massager, which you can use literally anytime anywhere.

You will be enjoying shiatsu massage in the comfort of your home, when travelling, even camping, in the office, after a workout…whenever and wherever you want. Charge the battery and take the massager with you to a new adventure.  It can be your ideal travel companion and will certainly help you recharge your batteries. The positive effects will always be the same – a smile on your face after complete relaxation!

What about you? How do you prefer spending your free time? What helps you relax and de-stress?

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