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Do you feel your back aching or have you noticed some muscle stiffness due to sitting at your desk for long periods of time? Do you feel worn out and unproductive as the day goes on? These are just a couple of signs that your body is telling you to get up and move.
By now, a lot of people have become aware that being in the same position and sitting all day long has a negative effect on the body and overall health. When you start feeling pain, it’s time to listen to your body and take a break to do some stretches. Stretching your arms or legs even just for 5 minutes can do wonders to your body and your productivity at work. It can help release tension, reduce fatigue, and even clear your head.
Reasons to Stretch at Work
With deadlines looming over you, you may feel hesitant to take a break from work, but trust us when we say that you need it. Here are 6 convincing reasons you should do some stretches at your desk every day.
Avoid Aches and Pains
Sitting for long hours at your desk and remaining in the same position for long periods of time can lead to tension in the muscles. The usual victims of this tension are the shoulders and upper back, especially if you’re hunched in front of your work desk. Stretching can help release that tension and reduce the strain that’s weighing your muscles down. Stand up from your desk and walk around the office for a moment so that your feet and legs acquire the benefits of stretching too.
Office workers who are in front of the computer for the most part of the day tend to slouch or hunch forward over the keyboard. Some even crane their neck towards their screen, leading to strains on the upper back. If you feel the constant back pain as you work, stretching will be able to help relieve that tension. When you stretch, the muscle tissues realign and loosen up, helping you maintain your spine straight afterward.
Being in the same position for too long can lead to health risks. Not only that, but your muscles can “fall asleep” and lead to pain or discomfort. This is why stretching is highly important as it can get your blood flowing, leading to an increase in circulation. This greatly benefits your heart, muscles, and arteries. Doing a 5 or 10 minute stretch at your desk can circulate the blood all over your body including your brain, reducing your exhaustion.
Speaking of a brain boost, stretching can also help you in enhancing your mood and energy levels throughout your work day. Doing the same work and motions over and over can make you feel tired and exhausted, it can even make you sleepy and sluggish too. Stretching can help remove the toxins that have settled in your muscles. The engaging movements can energize and wake up both your body and mind.
Numerous deadlines, documents, meetings and more give us a lot of stress at work. By simply taking the time to stretch at your desk, even for just 5 minutes, you can lower the stress levels that you are experiencing. When you stretch, mood-enhancing chemicals pump through your brain. As you do a few stretching exercises in the middle of work, do some deep breathing along with it as well to feel relaxed. With a clearer mind and reduced stress, you can actually be more productive at work.
Reduces Repetitive Muscle Strain Injury
Typing and doing the same work repeatedly puts any office worker at risk for a stress injury. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common muscle strain injuries, but your elbows and shoulders are also at risk if you’re not careful. Stretching lowers the risk of these repetitive injuries. Taking a break and stretching your wrists and arms can gently warm up the muscles, allowing them to loosen and letting you perform better.
We hope that this list has convinced you to tear your eyes and body away from your computer and get your muscles working. To get you started, we’ve rounded up some desk stretches that can save your spine. If you’re short on time, here’s also a list of simple, 5-minute stretches that you can do without having to leave your desk.
Take these stretch breaks throughout the day so that you avoid muscle fatigue and other health issues. Stay healthy and safe!