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Better You - Work

Stretch at Your Desk: Exercises to Revamp Your Workday

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Stretching at Desk

We’ve all been there- sitting in a little cubicle from 8-5 without moving much at all within our day. This is not only detrimental to your physical health and strength, but can have negative effects on your self-esteem and mental health as well. Try to take a break from just sitting once an hour by doing one or more of the following quick exercises.

- Stand up and reach your hands up towards the ceiling as high as they can go. This stretches your back, legs, and arms, and can really help to relax your stiff muscles.

- After the previous pose, bend your torso forward and stretch your arms out behind you, interlocking your fingers. This should stretch your chest and shoulders.

- Staying seated in your chair, extend your legs and reach your hands towards your toes as far as you can. Don’t worry about touching your toes, this stretch is meant to increase the blood circulation in your legs and feet.

- Hug yourself to stretch your back. Place your right hand on your left shoulder, and the left on your right shoulder. Slowly and deeply breath in and out, relaxing your back and the area between your shoulder blades.

- Relax and roll your head around on your neck. Holding your head upright to look at a computer screen all day can be incredibly taxing on your neck.

- Close your eyes for 15-30 seconds. The light from your computer screen isn’t beneficial to your eyes when you’re staring at it all day.

- While standing, relax your right knee and extend your left leg in front of you with your heel on the floor. On your left leg, bring your toes upwards, keeping your knee slightly bent. You should feel this stretch in the back of your leg, mid-thigh. Hold this for 20-30 seconds and switch to the other side.

- Skip the elevator and take the stairs! This is a simple way to be more active in the workplace. For an extra challenge, take the stairs two at a time.

Walk at your lunch break. Walk to the sandwich shop down the block, or simply go for a walk with your sandwich.

Are there stretches you find helpful to break up your work day? We want to hear your ideas! Post them in the comments below.

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