Have you ever stood up from sitting at your computer for hours on end feeling stiff or sore? So many of us maintain this same position – seated at a desk, for at least one third of each day – without considering how our stagnant positioning is affecting our long term posture and strength. After spending hours seated and typing away on our computers throughout the day, getting up and giving our bodies some variation becomes quite important. Stretching our muscles is a perfect way to release that stagnation and maintain mobility. Here are a few easy stretches you can do to counteract the effects of long-term computer use.
Hands over Head
Sitting all day long can tighten the muscles in our lower backs. Every once in a while, stand up, interlace your fingers, and stretch your arms up overhead, elongating your back, arms, and core. Then, interlace your fingers again, the less natural-feeling way, and repeat the stretch.
Arms across the Body
Typing all day can certainly build arm tension. To release this pressure, cross your left arm over your chest, holding it firmly in place with your right arm. After a few seconds, switch arms to complete the stretch.
Hunching over a computer all day can concave the chest inward. To reopen your chest, send your arms backwards, into a prayer position behind your back.
For those of us more-flexible folks, a backbend is a great counter-stretch to reopen the upper back. It is also an awesome neck releaser. Lay flat on your back, wheel your arms by your ears, and push up. Make sure you hold yourself high enough so that your head completely clears the floor – ensuring you place no added tension on your neck. For this stretch, it may be helpful to enlist a friend as your spotter.