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  • Saturday, November, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 10:33:32
  • Working from home isn’t as easy as you think. While you’re free from dull office chatter and corporate dress codes, the isolation of working remotely can often leave you feeling drained.

    Since the work-from-home shift caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, many people report higher levels of job satisfaction and productivity. However, the long-term effects of isolation and an uninspiring work environment are yet to be seen.

    Working from home also comes with its own health costs. For example, it’s common for those working remotely to spend extended periods sitting still and staring at a screen. This can cause a strain on your eyes and your body. So, here are 12 stretches you can do at your desk to stay healthy and feel good.

    Chest Stretch

    This stretch is great for the upper body and eases neck pain from spending hours at a computer.

    Start by placing both hands on your shoulders with elbows facing outwards. Gently push down until you feel a stretch in your chest, then hold for 30 seconds. Repeat two times, five times a day if desired.

    Shoulder Stretch

    Stretch out those tense shoulders while sitting at your desk. This is an effortless movement that feels so good!

    Start by crossing one arm over your upper chest and pulling gently until a stretch occurs in the shoulder area. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then swap arms. Repeat three times. If you suffer from particularly bad tension in the morning or after long periods of screen time, try doing this stretch 5 times a day.

    Back Stretch

    Mid back stretches is one of the most popular stretches because it immediately feels so good! It helps to decrease tension in your back and shoulders as well as relieving any stomach pains caused by prolonged sitting.

    Start by sitting with your feet flat on the floor, then bend forward slightly at the hips. Next, reach for your toes or hold onto your shins if you can’t quite reach that far, ensuring that you’re looking towards the floor. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then repeat five times. If you feel upper back pain during this movement, simply rest your hands on your knees instead of reaching outwards and overhead.

    Neck Roll

    A great little movement to release all that tension in one go!

    Start by sitting up straight and looking towards the left side of your screen. Next, slowly roll your head down to look at your right shoulder, then lift back up again, making sure you feel a good stretch in the neck area. Repeat on the other side. Do this 5 times on each side for best results.

    Hip Stretch

    The hip is one of our most important joints, so it’s always worth releasing any tension in this region when you can. Not only does it feel great, but it also relieves back pain too!

    To do this movement, come onto all fours with knees above hips and hands below shoulders. Gently push hips outwards until a stretch occurs in the groin or inner thigh area, then hold for 15 seconds before repeating 5 times.

    Calf Stretch

    Another great stretch that feels so good on tense calves. You can either do this movement by standing or sitting – whatever is most comfortable for you. Either way, ensure you have a chair in front of you to hold on to during the stretch.

    To begin, place your hands on the back of your chair with palms facing down. Then take one foot backward and rest it on the seat of your chair while keeping your heel pressed firmly on the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then swap legs before repeating each leg five times. This is a nice gentle stretch that works wonders after long periods spent sitting at a desk or driving.

    Shoulder Shrugs

    An effortless movement that helps release tension in the shoulders and upper back.

    Start by sitting upright with your feet flat on the floor, then bring them together. Then, with your hands behind you, gently shrug your shoulders towards the ceiling before releasing and repeating 10 times.

    If all this stretching makes you want to break for a coffee or get up from your desk, there’s no harm done! Although it’s important not to neglect your work while doing so, so balance is key! One minute here and there will do no harm at all, but if you can try to keep these breaks concise, around 10 minutes every hour should suffice depending on how long you’ve been sitting at a computer for. So, if you are feeling brave, I challenge everyone to give this a go sometime during the week.

    Spinal Twist

    This stretch should be done in conjunction with all the others, so don’t worry if it doesn’t feel like you’ve managed to fit them all in today. This movement is great for relieving tension in your spine and upper back, so take a deep breath and try to incorporate this nice gentle stretch into your routine.

    Start by lying down on your front, ensuring that you’re looking directly towards the floor. Next, take one hand behind your head, then let the other fall off to the side of you. Next, gently lift your top leg up until there’s a nice gentle stretch occurring at the lower back area. Hold for 15 seconds before swapping legs. Repeat 5 times each leg to get the best results.

    Torso Stretch

    As with all stretches, it’s important to commence this movement slowly and only stretch as far as you feel comfortable.

    Start by sitting up nice and tall, then slowly lean backward until a gentle stretch is felt in the back of your torso. Hold for 15 seconds before returning to starting position, do 5 repetitions each time you’re at your desk.

    Forearm Stretch

    This stretch always feels good and helps alleviate the aches and pains that can occur in your forearms after long periods of typing.

    To begin, place both palms flat on the desk with fingers pointing towards you. Then lean forward while keeping your elbows firmly planted on the desk until a stretch is felt in the forearm muscles (not too far though!) Hold for 15 seconds before returning to starting position, do 5 repetitions each time you’re at your desk.

    Hip Flexor Stretch

    This stretch is also great for alleviating tension in the lower back.

    Start by standing up nice and tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Shift your weight onto one foot, then bend the opposite leg until you feel a gentle stretch at the lower back area; hold for 15 seconds before swapping legs over. Repeat 3 times on each side to really release any pent-up tension in this area!

    Seated Hip Stretch

    For this stretch, make sure you have an empty seat next to you before starting.

    Start by sitting upright with feet flat on the floor, then slowly bring one leg up onto the seat and allow it to rest against the side of your body. Next, gently lean forward until a nice gentle stretch is felt at the hip area. Hold for 15 seconds before swapping sides over and repeating 3 times each leg.

    Conclusion

    If you would like an extra challenge, try getting up from your desk every 40 minutes or so and stretch for a few minutes before sitting back down again. Keep in mind that over-stretching is just as bad as not stretching at all!

    All of these stretches should be performed slowly and with care – make sure to read the instructions carefully and only stretch until you feel a gentle pull, but nothing more than that! You can also perform all of these postures daily to help alleviate tension; if they become too easy, you can always increase the difficulty by gripping onto something (e.g., water bottle) while holding weights above you.