Working from home may sound appealing and has become the new norm for many. If you find yourself slouched over on the couch while working, studying or looking at your phone, you may start to feel annoying back aches and neck pains. In addition to correcting your posture or seating position, here are some simple stretching exercises to help you relieve any discomfort. First and foremost, though, if you find yourself slouched over, your first step should be to relocate to a proper desk/table and sit in a chair!
Working from home often results in hours of sitting or standing in one position, which can lead to soreness and fatigue. Taking short breaks throughout the day to get your body moving is essential for the health of your body and mind. Simply getting up from your work-station and taking your eyes away from the computer will refresh and refocus your mind. Stretching increases blood flow throughout your body which increases energy levels and releases built up tension in muscles. Often when we become stressed our muscles tense up. Stretching allows you to release the tension in your muscles and feel calmer. Increased blood flow also invigorates your muscles, by waking your body up and keeping a healthy oxygen supply to your brain and other organs.
Here are some ways you can recharge your body and refresh your mind with simple stretches:
- Neck Release: Point your chin down to your chest then slowly lift your head and look up to the ceiling. Return your head back to a neutral position and then slowly turn your head left and right. Finally, touch your left ear to your left shoulder and then your right ear to your right shoulder.
- Hip Opener: While in a seated position at the edge of your chair, cross one ankle over the opposite knee and gently lean your body forward. Repeat with the other leg.
- Modified Downward Dog: Standing behind a chair, hold the back with your hands and start taking a few steps backwards making your torso parallel to the ground. Once you feel the gentle stretch in your spine, hold the position for a few moments
- Upperbody Tension Release: Interlock your finger in front of you and stretch forward, straightening out your arms. Repeat the same stretch behind your back. Lift your arms up toward the ceiling for a deeper stretch.
Along with stretching, meditation is a great way to clear and refocus your mind. Through meditation, many people find that their productivity is increased and they are left feeling more relaxed. Taking 5 minutes out of your work day to close your eyes and mediate allows your mind to focus on your breathing, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your emotional health.
For more stretching ideas and health related practices you can download these helpful apps:
- Start Stretching
- Stretching & Flexibility
- Yoga for Beginners | Mind+Body
- Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
- Oak – Meditation & Breathing
- Down Dog | Great Yoga Anywhere
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