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Top Five Stretches for Sedentary Workers

Categories: Executive Health
Is your waistline feeling a bit more snug? Your workplace may be contributing to your unhealthy habits.

According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com, 44 percent of workers said they have gained weight at their current job due to stress eating, eating out regularly, skipping meals due to time constraints, workplace celebration, temptation of the office candy jar and pressure to eat snacks or desserts other co-workers bring in 1.

To help combat these unhealthy habits, we found helpful stretches for sedentary workers. Remaining seated at your desk, in a car, at a restaurant or in your own home can lead to tight muscles, pinched nerves, headaches, shoulder pain and chest tightness.

When leaning on your hand with your elbow on your desk, for example, after a few minutes, you will feel uncomfortable and your body tells you to stretch out your muscles. With postural muscles in your back, however, you do not receive immediate feedback from remaining in one position for an extended period of time. It is important to get up and move around throughout your workday to ensure your muscles remain loose and you do not cause any serious damage to your body.

Performing these five exercises at least three times a week can help break your sedentary habits and improve your overall health.

Door stretch
  • Stand in the middle of a doorway with one foot in front of the other.
  • Bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle and place your forearms on either side of the doorway.
  • Shift your weight onto your front leg and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds before relaxing.

Seated cobra stretch
  • To avoid rounded shoulders while leaning forward and typing, pull your shoulders and your arms back while keeping your core tight.
  • Face your palms forward and pinch your shoulder blades low and together.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds, relax for 10 seconds and repeat.

Thoracic Spine twist
  • Sitting at the edge of your chair, place your hand behind your head (similar position to doing a sit-up).
  • Keeping your hips facing your keyboard, rotate your upper body 45 degrees to the left and lean to your left while keeping your head and neck in line with your body.
  • Still facing to the left of your computer, lean to your right and keep your spine in a straight line.
  • Return to upright, turn your upper body to the right and repeat to the right (out to the side) and left (in towards your keyboard).
  • Repeat three to five times.

Neck stretch
  • Put your right hand on top of your head and gently pull your head towards your right shoulder.
  • Extend your left arm down and turn the palm forward.
  • Hold this stretch for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Seated side bend stretch
  • Extend your right hand to the ceiling and your palm facing to the left.
  • Lean over the left side of your body while keeping your spine in a straight line.
  • Hold this stretch for five seconds.
  • Repeat with your left hand and leaning to your right side.

Written by Leeann Garms _________________________________________________________________________________________________
[1] http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=6%2f6%2f2012&id=pr699&ed=12%2f31%2f2012