If you spend your 9-5 stuck behind a desk, you will be no stranger to the stiffness that can leach into every muscle and joint in your body, nagging you from the inside out. While this feeling is uncomfortable at best and painful at worst, many Australians have accepted this suffering as an unavoidable fact of life.
However, sitting all day is more detrimental to an individual’s physical and mental health than you might realise. The impacts of poor posture and sitting in one position for a long period of time can cause, exacerbate or increase the risk of a number of physical ailments that go far beyond a bit of muscle cramping. These conditions include:
1. musculoskeletal disorders,
2. carpal tunnel,
3. lower back pain,
4. neck pain,
5. cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs),
6. and stress.
The good news is that there is an easy solution to this problem… stretching!
Whether integrated into your daily routine by your workplace or initiated by yourself, stretching is a great way to combat the damaging side-effects of desk life. By stretching a little bit each day, you will stimulate stronger blood and nutrient flow to your muscles and joints, prevent fatigue and general discomfort, as well as increasing energy, mobility and flexibility.
To introduce stretching into your busy work routine, start by doing these four simple positions whilst sitting at your desk. These particular stretches are targeted at improving your range of motion and reducing muscle soreness.
Relax your neck and head forward. Slowly roll your neck to one side and hold for a few seconds then roll to the other side.
Cross one arm in front of your body along the line of your shoulders. Fold your other arm up so it presses against your other elbow, alike a latch closing a gate. Hold for roughly ten seconds and then switch sides.
Use your hand to pull your head down gently to the side, as if drawing it to your shoulder. Hold this position for roughly ten seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Sit as up right as you can in your chair, with a little bit of extra space between you and your desk. Cross a flexed ankle over your opposite knee, keeping your hips square. Lean your upper body forward slightly to deepen the stretch. Hold this position for roughly ten seconds before switching to the other side.
These four stretches are great because they’re quick, simple, don’t take up much space and are repeatable multiple times a day as needed. If you need some extra help aiding aches and pains of the body, try our naturally anti-inflammatory curcumin supplement, Flexofytol, which may reduce joint pain and improve flexibility.
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