According to the American Osteopathic Association, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of serious physical conditions, ranging from posture and back problems to weight and heart problems. To combat complications, increase the amount of daily exercise you’re getting. Also, instead of consistently sitting behind a desk and staring at a computer screen, take frequent breaks to move around and do some stretches. This can revive your energy, get your blood flowing and keep your muscles flexible. The following stretches might come in handy.
To stretch your arms, upper back, chest and fingers, stand up extend your arms forward at shoulder height. Then clasp your hands together and rotate them so your palms face away from your body. Imagine someone is pulling at your hands and round your upper back to emphasize the stretch. After a 10-second hold, raise your hands overhead so your palms face the ceiling and imagine someone is pulling you up by your hands so you feel the stretch all the way down to your abdomen. After 10 seconds, lower your arms and clasp them behind your back with your palms facing your body. Push your chest forward and your shoulder blades together and breathe through this stretch for 10 seconds.
Torso Twist Stretch
For a relaxing lower back stretch, sit on your chair and cross your right leg over your left. Then grasp the outside of your right thigh with your left hand and twist your torso toward the right. Keep your back straight and your body elongated as you twist your torso and look over your shoulder. For extra support, hold onto the backrest of the chair with your free hand. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds, then cross your left leg over your right and repeat the stretch on your other side.
Consistently staring at a computer screen can results in a stiff neck. To prevent this perform gentle neck stretches. While sitting or standing, lower your chin to your chest for 10 seconds. Then look up at the ceiling for 10 seconds to stretch the front of your neck. After returning to an upright seated position, bring your right ear toward your right shoulder as much as you can. You should feel a stretch in the left side of your neck. Hold this for 10 seconds, and then bring your left ear toward your left shoulder for another 10 seconds.
To elongate the muscles in your legs, perform wall stretches. Face a wall while standing in a split stance. Place your hands on the wall and lean into it while keeping your feet flat on the floor. You should feel a nice stretch in the calf of the foot that’s furthest from the wall. Hold this for at least 15 seconds before switching sides. After this stretch, hold onto the wall for support with your right hand. Then bend your left knee and bring your heel up to your buttocks. Gently pull your foot closer to your butt with your left hand to emphasize the stretch in the front of your thigh. Repeat this on your other side, holding each stretch at least 15 seconds.
American Osteopathic Association