Pause and check in with your neck, shoulders and back. Do they feel tight? For most folks, at some point during the work day, they do. But a solution is at hand: Stretching.
Even if you’re among the rare few who don’t get knotted up, stretching is still a good idea because it stokes your attention and helps you breathe better.
“It gets the blood flowing,” says Taylor J. Eubank, a health and wellbeing consultant for Unum. “And it just feels good to move.”
First, keep in mind that you shouldn’t contort yourself to fit your workspace, a big no-no, according to the National Institutes of Health. Properly adjusting your keyboard, desk and chair can save you from excessive back, neck and wrist pain. And remember to sit up straight, with your shoulders over your hips and the natural curve of your lower back intact.
Still, even with an ergonomically perfect workspace and proper posture, tension winds up muscles. Plus, the simple act of sitting in a chair tightens the front of your thighs near your hips.
Here are five ways to loosen up:
*Photos by: Mitra Malek
Try these once a day. There’s really no excuse not to. “You can stretch anywhere,” Eubank says. “You don’t even have to have equipment.”
Journalist Mitra Malek writes about wellness, fitness and innovation. She has taught yoga regularly since 2006 and was a senior editor for Yoga Journal magazine. Learn more at mitramalek.com.