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!