(AscendHealthy.com) – Many of us spend way too much time in front of our desks. Physical inactivity contributes to 3.2 million deaths across the world each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Making room for more physical activity can reduce your odds of becoming another statistic, and your office is the perfect place to start. Here are 5 simple stretches you can do right at your desk.
1. Calf Raises
Break up sitting throughout the day with calf raises. With your legs straight and toes pointed ahead, use the balls of your feet to raise yourself while tightening your calves. Hold in place for a moment before returning to the floor. You can use your desk chair to balance yourself.
This stretch helps promote ankle strength and stability. Try doing two sets of 10 to 15 reps, with 30 seconds in between sets.
2. Seated Hamstring Stretch
To do a seated hamstring stretch, sit at the edge of your desk chair and straighten one leg out in front of your body, placing your heel on the floor. Sitting up straight, push your navel towards your thigh without leaning forward. Hold for 30 seconds.
This stretch helps prevent hamstring inflexibility, which can increase the risk of injury, muscle spasms and lower back strain. To reap the benefits, start out with three hamstring stretches per leg.
3. Shoulder Shrugs
To perform a shoulder shrug, begin with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms at your sides, palms facing one another. Bend your knees slightly, lining them up with your toes. Keep your neck straight and your chin up as you face straight ahead. Inhaling, slowly raise your shoulders as high as possible to your ears. Exhale as you lower your shoulders.
Shoulder shrugs can relieve tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders. They also strengthen your upper shoulders and arms. Aim for three sets of 10 reps to start.
4. “Reach for the Sky” Back Stretch
Looking for a good back stretch? Lace your fingers together and then, palms facing up, reach towards the ceiling. Be sure to relax your shoulders. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds and repeat it five times.
This stretch can help work out some of the back tension you endure from sitting for long periods of time.
5. Spinal Twists
To do a spinal twist, begin by sitting with your feet flat on the floor. Contracting your abs, gently rotate your torso to the right. Use the handles on your desk chair to deepen the stretch, being sure to straighten your back and keep your hips squared. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Then, repeat on the left side.
Spinal twists can help work out lower back tension, tightness and achiness that can be caused by sitting in an office chair all day long.
These 5 simple stretches can be done right at your office desk, but there are other ways you can get fit at work. Try walking or jogging in place, doing push-ups or sit-ups and jump rope. Also, be sure to take the stairs instead of the elevator and park farther away when possible. Taking a few extra minutes out of your day to devote to your health might improve your health and prevent potentially fatal health consequences.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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