In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic themes and bodily areas to consider when it comes to workplace stretches. For those who struggle with aches and pains due to long hours spent at a desk job, stretching – often as a complement to massage therapy appointments – can be a great technique to reduce pain and other symptoms.
At Body Balance Massage and Float, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of massage therapy services for those suffering from work-related aches and pains, from Swedish massage to deep tissue massage, cupping therapy and numerous other techniques. In today’s part two, we’ll get a bit more detailed and dig into some specific stretches that tend to work well in the workplace, both for their effectiveness and their general simplicity and limited space required.
Here are a couple of the very simplest stretches, ones that don’t even require you to leave your desk area:
- Shoulder rolls: Roll the shoulders backward and forward several times consecutively, doing at least 10 repetitions each way and repeating a few times. You might be surprised how much relief this provides to your upper back and neck area.
- Head-to-toe: Stand up from your seat and reach your arms up over the head until you feel a moderate pull, then hold for 10 seconds. Then reach the hands down to the toes and hold for another 10 seconds before repeating the entire thing.
Our next few stretches do require some floor space, but can be done in a relatively compact area in most situations.
Those who are seated for many hours per day often have issues in their hips, particularly their hip flexors. One great stretch for these is the hip release, which involves kneeling on the floor and stepping one leg out in front of you at a right angle. The extended leg should have its foot placed flat on the floor.
From here, press your hips forward into the extended leg until you feel a stretch. If you want to extend the stretch, raise the opposite arm from the extended leg up over your head. Hold this for 10-15 seconds and then switch legs.
A great stretch for both the legs and back is the trunk rotation, which involves lying on your back and bringing your knees up to your chest. Hold them temporarily with your hands, then let them both slowly fall to one side of your body while keeping the torso even and your arms on the floor. Hold on either side of your body for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Finally, an ideal stretch for those who type at a computer for long hours is the chest opener, which can be done either kneeling (ideally) or while in your seat. Rest your chin onto your neck and reach your arms back behind you, linking your fingers. Lift your arms until you feel a stretch in the chest and front shoulders, then hold for 10 seconds.
For more on stretches to complement massage therapy and keep you comfortable in the workplace, or to learn about any of our massage therapy or float therapy techniques, speak to the staff at Body Balance Massage and Float today.