Stretching At Work

Sitting at a desk all day at work can take a toll on your body. Your back can feel tired, your arms and legs feel tense and your neck may hurt. Slumping over in your chair can wreck your upper back and shoulders. Sit up straight and exercise regularly throughout the day to avoid back pain and stiff muscles. You can stretch your muscles and exercise your body while sitting at your desk. Stretching at your desk can help stimulate your circulation and help avoid an aching back. You will feel more invigorated and less tired after a few stretching exercises at your desk. 
Photo Credit: Public Domain
Begin stretching by tucking your chin. Look straight ahead and straighten your back. Drop your shoulders slightly and then tuck your chin toward your chest. Resist the urge to slump your shoulders. Tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Hold the stretch straight forward for 10 seconds. Turn your chin toward your left shoulder and hold for another 10 seconds and then turn toward your right shoulder. Return your chin to the middle of your chest. Repeat this exercise 10 times. 
Stretch your neck muscles to help relieve tension in your neck and upper back. Sit up straight in your chair with your shoulders straight and your knees together. Look straight ahead and then slowly lower your right ear toward your right shoulder. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds when you feel the muscles on your left side begin to stretch. Repeat this exercise on the other side. 
After stretching your neck, focus on your shoulders and upper back. Look straight ahead and sit up tall in your chair. Drop your shoulders slightly. Roll your shoulders in a circle toward the front 10 times and the reverse the rotation toward the back.  Next, sit up tall and push both of your shoulders back toward the back of your chair. You should feel your chest muscles stretching. Relax and then repeat 8 to 10 times.

For more information and examples of stretching at work, see:
Mayo Clinic, Slide Show: Office Stretches, 2010

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