Leading a sedentary lifestyle is almost unavoidable for us in the 21st century. Most people now have jobs that keep them sitting for many hours a day. There are several different health problems that can happen as a result of extended sitting. For instance, a sedentary lifestyle puts you at risk for diseases like obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
There are even more immediate health issues that can come from sitting too much. As an example, you may experience neck and back pain. This is especially common in people who work in offices and look at computer screens all day. Depending on your schedule and how much you move, you might experience stiffness, soreness, or even numbness and tingling.
However, just because you sit throughout the day does not mean you have to live a sedentary life.
The good news is that you can do basic stretches to improve circulation and relax your muscles. These stretches can be performed almost anywhere, including an office. That is good news since it means you won’t be drawing too many odd looks from your coworkers. Here are the best stretches to combat sitting fatigue!
1. Neck and shoulders
Working on a computer or even driving long distances causes tension in the neck and shoulders. The result — pain in the muscles, tendons, and bones. This is a really serious problem: over the last year in Great Britain, 30 million people called in sick because of neck pain.
Pinched nerves and blood vessels in the neck can cause impaired eyesight or a headache. And these problems can be avoided just by doing some simple exercises.
Stretching the neck and shoulders. Lean against a doorway with one hand, lower your head, and try to reach your other shoulder with your chin, then return to neutral. Do 10 reps. Don’t try too hard: you are supposed to feel a pleasant warmth in the muscles. Then, repeat with the other arm.
Relieving the pain and tension. Stand up against a wall so that the back of your neck touches the wall and your heels are 3 inches away from it. Lower your shoulders. Stretch your arms to the sides and do 10 lifts. The arms should touch the wall during this exercise.
If you work at a computer, your hands undergo a lot of strain. You may even have pain at the end of the day. To ease any discomfort and strengthen your hands, use two balls and an expander. Playing with this throughout the day will provide you with relief.
To ease the pain in your wrists, do one simple exercise: just rotate your wrists without moving your arms. Turn in a gentle circle 10 times for each hand. This will get the joint working and provide some relief.
Sore fingers are a common issue for people who use keyboards all day. To give your fingers a workout, hook each finger around the corresponding finger on your other hand. Then, pull gently to help the muscles warm up.
3. Lower back and buttocks
Pain in the lower back and heaviness in the legs doesn’t mean you are getting older. Maybe you have a sedentary lifestyle and little to no physical activity. Sitting for several hours straight may lead to sciatica — a condition when your sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet, is irritated.
Doctors say that a sedentary lifestyle can even lead to the development of cellulite. In order to avoid the development of a serious problem or a negative cosmetic outcome, you can do simple stretching exercises. They will improve your blood circulation and make you feel healthy and beautiful.
Exercise for the office. Sit on the edge of a chair and stretch one leg forward. Slowly bend your body toward the leg. Don’t overdo it: you are not supposed to feel pain or tension. Do 5-10 reps and repeat on the other leg.
This stretching exercise will help you to relieve tension in the lower back and buttocks, and will relax the hamstring.
Exercise for home. Lie on your back and put a pillow or a blanket under your neck. Bend your right knee and put your left ankle on top of it. The left foot should be just above the knee of the right leg.
Clasp your hands around the back of the right thigh and pull. If you can’t put your hands around the thigh, use a towel. Don’t lift your buttocks and try to stay in this position for 20-30 seconds. Do 2 reps and then switch to the other leg.
References: relieved.co, homeremedy5.blogspot.com
Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for BrightSide.me