I recently woke up with a world ending sore neck. I couldn’t move my head or shoulders and had a throbbing headache – long story short, following many visits to the physio, I am now on the mend…and boy did I learn a few lessons about posture!
Approximately 8 out of 10 people will experience significant lower back pain at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, ladies, women are more likely to experience lower back and neck pain than men.
Research indicates that periodic workplace stretching may reduce pain by up to 72 percent.
After my experience, and what I learned from the physio, I have put together a list of helpful desk stretches that I now religiously do throughout the day, which is keeping me in check and pain free. Thanks to my colleague Jana, for being a good sport and demonstrating these exercises in the photos!
The day dream
Gently pull each elbow to the opposite side overhead. Just pretend you’re under a Tahitian waterfall and need to scrub your shoulder blades.
The Carpet Grazer
While seated, extend your legs and reach toward your toes. Stare at the purplish-gray office carpet or search for lost bits of popcorn for 20 seconds.
The Half Bear Hug
Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest. Tell passers-by you need a mini childhood flashback, or that “this is how you roll.”
The Olympic Diver
Clasp your hands in front of you and lower your head in line with your arms. Pretend you actually know how to dive correctly, and use this “proper technique” to impress your cubicle companions.
The Almost-Aerobics Reach
Extend each arm overhead and to the opposite side as you imagine Richard Simmons goading you toward a fabulous body.
“Who Cares if I’m at Work” Shrug
Raise both shoulders at once up toward the ears. Drop them and repeat as you explain to your boss that you are, indeed, listening with interest.
The Freedom Search
Clasp hands behind your back, push the chest outward, and raise the chin. Count yourself lucky if you’re not looking at suspended ceiling tiles and fluorescent bulbs.
Tip: If you’re feeling really tight, try holding the pose for longer
The Spine-Popping Chatterbox
Cross your legs and alternate twists toward the back of the chair. Use the rear-facing position to comment on your neighbor’s color-coded file system with near genuine admiration. Tip: Exhale as you lean into the stretch for a greater range of motion.
The Dead Robot Dance
Lean your head forward and slowly roll from side to side. Picture all of the times you finished a less-than-polished robot dance with dangling head and arm, and vow to record it next time.
The Star Employee
If you have energetic office culture, or find yourself in before anyone else… bust out some star-jumps to get your blood flowing! (Optional)
The “Get Back to Work” Finale
No stretch here, silly. This is where you drop the deskercise routine and get back to your file-filled reality. Sorry…
There you have it, all stretched-out without having to move from your desk, and a new dance routine for your next night out! (Headband also optional)