Importance Of Stretching


Work-related injuries don’t just happen in factories and on construction sites. Research shows that sitting for extended periods can lead to numerous health concerns. With roughly eight out of 10 Americans working desk jobs, many workers are at risk of developing pain, discomfort, and other health issues.

Common ailments associated with desk jobs include shoulder and neck pain, lower back pain, obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, headaches, and more. Medical experts state that too much sitting can increase the risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. 

Fortunately, there’s a solution. Stretching and moving throughout the day can help reduce pain and discomfort while boosting energy, burning calories, and improving overall health. Learn more about the benefits of stretching and how you can get started.

Benefits of Stretching

The benefits of stretching are undeniable and can be as profound as reducing the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Taking breaks from the workday to stretch can reduce inflammation, improve circulation, ease tension headaches, and reduce back, shoulder, and neck pain. Stretching can even lighten stress and improve mood and mental well-being. 

Top Stretches for Office Workers

Several stretches target the most common areas of discomfort for desk workers. These office-friendly movements work the back, shoulders, neck, forearms, glutes, and hips to release tension and increase comfort.

Remember to stretch using smooth motions and avoid stretching beyond what is comfortable. A personal fitness trainer can help create a workplace stretching routine to suit your health and fitness needs. Results will appear when you remain consistent.

Seated Forward Bend/Upper Back Stretch

The upper back stretch is also known as the seated forward bend. This movement stretches the shoulders, traps, and the tight muscles between the shoulder blades. 

While seated or standing, stretch your arms straight in front of your body with palms facing outward. Cross your arms to press the palms together, then round your back, relax your head, and reach forward. 

Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. 

Chest Stretch

Stretching the chest can improve posture and reduce pain associated with hunching forward over a keyboard. 

While seated or standing, link your fingers with your arms behind your back. Straighten the arms while lifting them a few inches until you feel the stretch in your chest. 

Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds. 

Hip Flexor Stretch

Sitting too much can be taxing on the lower body. While sitting, the glutes stretch, and hip flexors tighten. You can relieve this tightness by standing up and stretching the hip flexors several times per day. 

Start by standing and moving the right leg back about 3 feet. Bend the right knee like you’re lunging, then lower the front knee until you feel the stretch in the right hip. Squeeze the glutes on your right side to deepen the stretch. 

Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Forearm Stretch

The forearms can get extremely tight from continuous typing and computer use. This movement stretches the muscles in the wrists and forearms. 

While seated or standing, stretch your right arm out straight with the palm facing the floor. Use the left hand to pull the fingers of the right hand toward you. You should feel the stretch in your forearm. 

Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds before switching sides. 

Stretching throughout the workday can lead to superior comfort and better health. Discover more helpful workplace stretches and techniques in the accompanying resource. 

Author bio: Dan Borucki is an ISSA Certified Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer at Re|Claim Fitness. He is committed to providing a level of service that is focused on the individual, whatever his or her needs and goals may be. Borucki strives to encourage, support and challenge his clients to feel stronger, healthier and more confident.  

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