Healthy Work-From-Home Routines: 5 Stretches
When it comes to physical discomforts and disorders caused by an individual’s work, a lot of people tend to subconsciously think of heavy labour work and its consequences. While they are not entirely wrong but with the advent of Covid and lockdown which led to work from home being the new norm, it's high time now that we change our perceptions. Plenty of research has pointed out the fact that poor posture, repetitive and unchanging motion as well as staying in the same position for a longer number of hours can be the cause as well as a catalyst of musculoskeletal disorders.
To help you out with maintaining good health while working peacefully we have curated a list of some of the top 5 stretches:
Standing side stretch:
Easily one of the most comforting as well as anticipating stretches out there. Standing stretches are very efficient when it comes to relaxing our bodies and calming down our nerves. If you have already been sitting at your desk for long hours, then this one is a must-do at all costs.
To perform a standing stretch all you have to do is stand straight on the ground with your feet together, while you are standing gently raise your arms towards the ceiling and clasp your hands together. Now stretch your body as much as possible and lean a bit towards the left, return to the same position, and then bend towards the right direction.
One of the most common discomforts caused by poor sitting position is chronic back pain. If you too feel the same then it's time to try this stretch. For this one you need to first, stand straight on the ground, keeping your feet apart. While maintaining a shoulder-length distance between your two feet, bend your knees slightly. Then clasp your hands behind your back and start bending forward, enough so that your face is at the level of your knees.
It is one of those stretches that induce movements and relax your upper and middle back - the main areas of the body that stiffen up when one works for long hours at their desk. To boost the blood flow and ease those tense muscles properly it is recommended that you perform this stretch every three hours.
For this exercise, you must stand with your feet hip-width apart and then stretch out your arms straight in front of your body. After that you deliberately push out your arms and shoulders forward, you know you are doing good as soon as you feel a stretch between your shoulder blades. Then tuck your chin into your chest and elongate your neck in a stretch holding that position for 2 secs. After returning your arms to the sides of your body, untuck your chin and look up to stretch the front of the neck, again hold that for 2 seconds, and your first rep is done.
Sitting Thoracic Extension:
This one is for all those folks out there who love to stretch without having to get up from their seats for even a second. It helps in realigning one’s posture and preventing neck and shoulder pain.
For those who wish to integrate this stretch into their routines, the steps go like this: scoot your butt back to the end of the chair while remaining seated. You must keep in mind that your feet should be placed on the ground with your legs bent at 90 degrees. Inhale deeply and exhale while leaning back over the chair, make sure you do not collapse your chest and lift it rather. Hold the position for about 5 seconds, which makes a total of 5 breaths.
The W stretch:
Many people suffer from the dilemma of subconsciously slouching while sitting at their desks. This stretch is made to provide ease to such people. It focuses on the middle back of the person, especially on the postural muscles that help an individual sit straight.
For the W stretch you can either sit with your butt scooted to the back of the chair or stand with your feet width apart. Then gently lift your arms overhead in a way that makes the “Y” shape while slightly tucking your chin into the chest. Make sure your shoulders do not shrug up to the level of your ears and hold the “Y” position for about 2-3 seconds. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together while drawing your elbow towards the hip. Draw them in until they are in line with your rib cage and forming a “W” shape. Keep your core engaged throughout and hold the position for 2-3 seconds.
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