3 Simple Desk Stretches You Should Be Doing While Working From Home
If you're working from home amid the Covid-19 pandemic, you might find these posture-enhancing desk stretches helpful.
Improve your posture from your desk
If you are already victim to some of the side effects of screen slouching, it isn't too late to make a change, says Dr. Liza Egbogah, a chiropractic doctor in Toronto. "While at this time, it might be harder to schedule an osteopath or massage appointment, there are some things you can do to ease any back or neck pain without even leaving your home." Dr. Liza suggests taking regular breaks from your computer, going for a small walk every 45 minutes, or spending a minute or so every 20 minutes stretching at your workspace.
Although stretching might seem tedious, it's a great everyday tool to help you remain conscious of your posture when sitting. To ensure your spine and joints are in alignment, you may want to check out the following desk stretches.
It’s important to take regular breaks from your computer to regain awareness of your posture. As part of this pause, "take some time to interlock your hands behind your back, pull towards the ground and squeeze your shoulder blades together for five seconds," says Dr. Liza. "This stretches out the pectoral muscles and opens up the chest cavity to encourage oxygen flow, as well as strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades." It's also beneficial for reducing the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. (Keep in mind, stress and anxiety even affects wellness experts.)
As you repeat this stretch more often, these muscles will become stronger and naturally hold you in an upright position.
Trapezius neck stretch
Guilty of hunching over your work station? It's not too late to stretch your neck and undo some of the damage, says Dr. Liza. To stretch out your neck, "grab the bottom of your seat with your left hand, take your right hand to the left ear and gently push your head down towards the right shoulder for a release of any built up tension. Try and bring your right ear as close to the top of the right shoulder as possible. Repeat on the opposite side."
Implementing this stretch regularly throughout the day will help you avoid forward-leaning when sitting at your computer. (Also, this is the eye issue to be aware of if you're on a computer all day.)
It’s important to show your glutes some love to release all of that built up tension. "One way of doing this is, ironically, by staying seated," says Dr. Liza. "With your right foot planted on the floor, bring your left ankle onto the top of your right quad. With both hands, hold onto your left shin and pull yourself forward to stretch out your glutes." Repeat this stretch on the opposite side.
Next, check out our favourite week-long posture-enhancing workout.