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Stretching Exercises to Perform from Your Cubicle to Help Prevent Tight Muscles in Just Minutes

Young businesswoman with neck pain sitting at office desk

Do you sit at a desk all day? If so, you probably experience occasional muscle tightness. This is especially common along your back and shoulders.

You’ve probably heard some of the typical recommendations for dealing with this tightness. You need to take a break every hour and get up and stretch. You need to target your hip flexors to strengthen the muscles that are impacted while sitting. But, these are not the only solutions.

When you glued to the desk, you might not have the option of taking a break every hour. In these situations, you need a solution that works from your desk. Otherwise, sitting all day could cause organ damage, muscle degeneration, tight abs, leg disorders, and other health problems.

Here are simple stretching exercises to perform from your cubicle to help prevent tight muscles. And, it will only take a few minutes out of your day.

#1 – Perform Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder shrugs will help you loosen tight shoulder muscles. This can also help with neck pain. These shoulder shrugs will only take a few seconds and can be performed without getting up from your chair.

To perform these shrugs, take a deep breath and shrug your shoulders. Lift your shoulders up to your ears. Hold this pose for a few seconds and return to your starting position. You can perform this several times to help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.

You can add an extra move to this exercise to further help your neck muscles. As you lift your shoulders, shake your head up and down and then side to side. Do this slowly, as if shaking your head “yes” or “no”.

#2 – Perform a Torso Twist

This next exercise will help loosen muscles in your back, neck, and shoulders. The torso twist is a complete upper body exercise. Again, you can perform this exercise from your chair.

Sit in your chair, facing forward, with your arms on your lap. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, twist your torso to your right side. Grab the back of your chair with your right hand. Reach your left arm across and grab the right arm of the chair.

Keep your head straight and twist your body as far to the rear as you can – as if trying to see behind you. Hold this twist for a few seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.

Repeat this process on your left side. You can perform this exercise several times.

#3 – Perform Leg Extensions

Leg extensions will help work your legs and your abdominal muscles. It is a quick and simple stretch that will help keep your legs relaxed.

While sitting in your chair, grab the seat in order to brace your body. With a firm grip on your seat, stretch your legs out in front of you.

If possible, you should raise your legs so that they are parallel to the floor. You may need to turn your chair away from your desk to perform this step, depending on how your desk area is set up.

With your legs extended, flex your toes. Flex your toes and release several times and then return your legs to the floor and relax your grip on the seat. That is one exercise. You should perform this stretch several times in a row.

#4 – Give Yourself a Hug

The next stretch is another simple one. You just need to give yourself a hug. This loosens shoulder and back muscles.

While sitting in your chair, hug yourself. Place your left hand on your right shoulder and your right hand on your other shoulder. While hugging yourself, inhale and exhale. You should continue to do this for 30 to 60-seconds.

#5 – Cross Your Arms

Crossing one arm in front of your chest, using your other arm, will relax your shoulder and upper back muscles.

To perform this stretch, stretch one arm straight out in front of you. Grab the elbow of this arm with your opposite hand. Pull your extended arm across your chest. This will stretch your muscles. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm.

#6 – Stand Up and Sit Down Several Times

This next exercise is proven to help reduce your risk of back problems and other health issues associated with sitting all day. According to recent studies, standing frequently throughout the day is more effective for preventing health issues than taking regular breaks every two hours.

You should stand up and sit down several times per hour. Whenever the thought enters your mind, stand up and then sit back down. It only takes a few seconds. And, you can perform this exercise without delaying your work.

You can increase the effectiveness of this simple exercise by performing this motion without the use of your hands.

#7 – Replace Your Desk Chair with an Exercise Ball

This last suggestion isn’t really an exercise. But, it can help keep your muscles loose and limber throughout the day.

Instead of sitting in a standard desk chair, you should replace it with an exercise ball. This may not be an option in all workplaces, but it is a great way to deal with lower back problems.

Sitting on the exercise ball forces you to engage the muscles in your legs, back, and butt. You get a workout throughout the day, without really trying.

All of the exercises discussed are easy to perform and only take a few moments out of your day. You can stretch your muscles without distracting yourself from your work. It is a simple step that can go a long way toward preventing health issues related to sitting all day.

You should try to perform a combination of these exercises throughout the day. Whenever the thought enters your mind, perform a stretch. You should at least try to perform several of these exercises every hour.

Along with these tips, you should try to more active when you’re away from the cubicle. You could stand while you take your breaks or walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch instead of driving.

If you continue to experience severe pain or muscle tightness, you should schedule a visit to your doctor or a chiropractor. But, if you keep using these exercises, you should be able to reduce your risk of health issues from your desk job.

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