As critical as it is to make sure your business’ IT remains in good shape, it is just as important that you and your team members are in good shape as well. Otherwise, the aches and pains that can settle in could easily have a detrimental impact on your productivity.
One simple, but effective, way to help encourage this is to have your team members do some stretches on occasion—and don’t worry, all of these can be done from the desk.
We Aren’t Supposed to Be Stationary as Long as the Work Day Demands
Consider human history for a moment, and it becomes extremely obvious that the typical work environment was far different than the sedentary one we are used to today. It should come as little surprise that so many health issues and risks have emerged since office work has been popularized.
Now, while it isn’t as though you and your team can realistically just wander about throughout the workday, it remains crucial that you and your team are staying mobile as much as you can. One effective and minimally-invasive way to do so is to incorporate some simple stretches that can be done without leaving the workstation.
Eight Effective Workplace Stretches
If you commonly find yourself slouching, you’re likely straining your upper back. Unless you have some shoulder issues that would make this stretch a bad idea, the following may be helpful:
- Sitting straight in your chair, reach your arms behind you and interlock your fingers if able.
- Extend your arms back and raise your hands until you feel resistance in your chest.
- Hold the stretch anywhere from 10-to-30 seconds, from five-to-ten times.
Upper Back Stretch
This stretch can also help maintain the upper back.
- Seated or standing, stretch your arms forward and turn your arms so your palms face outward and away from each other. Cross your arms and press your palms together, interlacing your fingers.
- Reach forward, stretching your back out as you curl over your stomach.
- Once you’ve done so, hold the position between 10-to-30 seconds.
Long periods of time spent sitting can lead to a sore lower back, but this stretch makes a major difference.
- From a seated position and your feet flat on the floor, use your stomach muscles to rotate your torso. You can use your chair’s armrest or back to help pull yourself into a deeper stretch.
- Stretch as far as you are comfortably able, making sure to keep a straight back and your hips facing front.
- Repeat this stretch on either side anywhere from five-to-ten times, holding it for up to half a minute.
We cannot understate how much posture can impact you and your employees, particularly as time passes. Stretching can proactively prevent the ill impacts of a poor posture.
- Interlacing your fingers, reach up towards the ceiling and extend your hands over your head. Make sure you breathe in deeply throughout the stretch, and feel free to lean left and right to stretch out your sides.
- Breathe out as you bring your arms back down, slowly returning to your starting position.
- Repeat this process eight-to-ten times.
With the general propensity to slouch while working at the computer, many feel the impacts in their backs and necks. In addition to trying to preserve a better posture in general, stretching your neck can help improve these feelings.
- Taking your right hand and gripping the side of your chair, start pulling while also tilting your head to the left. You should feel the stretch in your right neck and shoulder.
- Do the same on the other side, holding the left side of the chair and leaning your head to the right.
- On either side, hold the stretch for 10-to-30 seconds, repeating it between five-to-ten times on each side.
Seated Hip Stretch
As we’ve established, we weren’t meant to sit for hours at a time, so it’s no surprise that we might feel the effects of doing so after a day’s work. This stretch helps to open your hips back up.
- Sitting, cross your leg so your right ankle is over your left knee. Lean forward into the stretch while keeping your back straight. You should feel the stretch in and around your right hip.
- You can add to the stretch by pushing down on your right knee.
- Alternating sides, repeat this process five-to-ten times on each side, holding for 10-to-30 seconds.
Shoulder and Wrist Release
The fine motor functions of the office can be rough on your joints, particularly in your arms. Try these stretches to relax your muscles and relieve some of the pressure.
- Keeping your palm up, extend your hand out in front of you.
- Using your other hand, pull down on your fingers so your palm faces away from you.
- Alternating sides, repeat.
- Extend your arms straight ahead of you, interlacing your fingers.
- Rotate your hands so your palms face away from you and stretch your arms above you.
- Repeat as needed throughout the day.
Low Back Release
Finally, remaining seated for extended periods can cause your back to seize up. This stretch helps prevent this outcome.
- Facing sideways in your chair, hold onto the back with the closest arm.
- Start to twist toward the back of your chair, using your free arm to reach toward the opposite knee.
- Repeat as needed, alternating sides.
These Stretches May Help Your Team Feel Better, and Feel More Productive as a Result
We can help you provide them with the tools to take full advantage of that productivity. Give us a call at (215) 525-3223 to find out how we can help.