Here are Stretches to Do at Work Every Day to help relieve physical pains.

Work-related disorders aren’t just limited to heavy manufacturing or construction. They can occur in all types of industries and work environments, including office spaces. Research shows that repetitive motion, poor posture, and staying in the same position can cause or worsen musculoskeletal disorders.

Staying in one position while doing repetitive motions is typical of a desk job. An analysis of job industry trends over the past 50 years revealed that at least 8 in 10 workers are desk potatoes.

The habits we build at our desk, especially while sitting, can contribute to discomfort and health issues, including, neck and shoulder pain, obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, stress, lower back pain and carpel tunnel. More than four hours a day of screen time can increase your risk of death by any cause by 50 percent. There’s also a 125 percent risk for cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that moving or stretching is a buildable habit. For starters, you can set a timer to remind you to take a quick walk or stretch. If you are pressed for time, there are even certain stretches you can do at your desk. Remember to breathe normally throughout the stretches, and never hold your breath. With each stretch, you may find yourself more flexible. Don’t go further than is comfortable.

Stretching out your arms

  1. Raise your arm and bend it so that your hand reaches toward the opposite side.
  2. Use your other hand and pull the elbow toward your head.
  3. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Overhead reach, or latissimus stretch

  1. Extend each arm overhead.
  2. Reach to the opposite side.
  3. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Upper body and arm stretch

  1. Clasp hands together above the head with palms facing outward.
  2. Push your arms up, stretching upward.
  3. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

Shoulder, or pectoralis stretch

  1. Clasp hands behind your back.
  2. Push the chest outward, and raise the chin.
  3. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

Forward stretch

This stretch is also known as the rhomboid upper or upper back stretch.

  1. Clasp your hands in front of you and lower your head in line with your arms.
  2. Press forward and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

Torso stretch, or trunk rotation

  1. Keep your feet firmly on the ground, facing forward.
  2. Twist your upper body in the direction of the arm that’s resting on the back of your chair.
  3. Hold pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on other side.

Hip and knee flexion stretch

Exhale as you lean into the stretch for a greater range of motion.

  1. Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest.
  2. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Alternate.

Hamstrings stretch

  1. Remaining seated, extend one leg outward.
  2. Reach toward your toes.
  3. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Be sure to do this one leg at a time, as doing this exercise with both legs out can cause back issues. Head and shoulder stretches

Shoulder shrug

  1. Raise both shoulders at once up toward the ears.
  2. Drop them and repeat 10 times each direction.

Neck stretches

  1. Relax and lean your head forward.
  2. Slowly roll toward one side and hold for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat on other side.
  4. Relax again and lift your chin back to starting position.
  5. Do this three times for each direction.

Upper trap stretch

  1. Gently pull your head toward each shoulder until a light stretch is felt.
  2. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. Alternate once on each side.

The benefit of stretching exercise cannot be over emphasise as stretching helps to improve range of motion, posture, and provides stress relief. Periodic workplace stretching may reduce pain by up to 72 percent; also, a bit of exercise in the workplace can relieve both physical and mental stress. Rest breaks can minimise discomfort without compromising productivity; likewise physical activities, even for short period of time, can improve your mood. Know that it is very important to get up and move around a little everyday

By: Mercy Kukah

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