Stretch Your Way to Better Health

By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health

Checking emails, jumping on conference calls, and working on my computer are all a part of my typical workday. Naturally, these tasks require me to be seated for a long period of time. Many of us who work in office spaces, (including remote locations and at-home offices) sit without a second thought because it’s one of the many norms of office culture. Unfortunately, we face a harsh reality: sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on our physical mobility. It can create stress on your body and cause you to develop symptoms like:

  • Lower back pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Low blood circulation

Stretching can be a great tool to help alleviate some of the stored tension in your body, but if the issue persists, consider getting in touch with a physical therapist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Here are some stretches you can do while seated at your desk. Consult with your health care professional to ensure they’re right for you.

Neck Roll
This simple stretch can help reduce stiffness in your neck. Tilting your head from side to side, then back and forth can help lengthen the spinal disks that help support your head.

Spinal Twist
In a seated position, turn your torso to the back of the chair without shifting your lower body. In that turned position, place your hands on the top of the chair to deepen the spinal twist. It’s recommended you hold this position for a minimum of 10 seconds.

Chest Opener
With hands clasped together behind your back, stretch your arms upward to activate the stretch in your neck, shoulders and arms. This will help elongate your muscles.

Work days can be long and demanding but a few short minutes of stretching can help prevent long-term physical consequences. Make it a part of your daily routine, and stretch your way to better health.

October is National Physical Therapy (PT) month. PT (Physical Therapy) is not only used to rehabilitate those who’ve lost mobility but to help prevent serious or disabling damage to joints, ligaments and muscles.

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