Research is showing that a sedentary lifestyle carries significant health risks.  Anyone who works in an office or is tied to their desk all day will often complain about stiffness and pain.  It is not always possible for workers to take time out for a brisk walk during the day to stretch their muscles and recharge their system.  As part of our “5 for 2015″ series, below are five simple stretches that can be done in your office or cubical.  If possible, taking a 5 minute break, a few times during the day to complete these exercises will make you feel better, reduce tension and stress, increase flexibility and hopefully make you more productive.  When you do these simple stretches, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.  Most importantly do not think of work and focus on YOU!.

Back Stretches Using the Wall or Cubicle Doors

These will help with back, neck and shoulder pain, along with shoulder and chest motions.

Place hands on the frame of the door with elbows at a 90 degree angle

Lunge forward, slightly bending your front leg.

Feel the stretch in your chest, shoulder & upper back.

Hold for 30 to 60 seconds

Stand up tall with your back against the door frame.

Stretch one arm up and one arm down and back.

Feel the stretch in upper back & shoulder

Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat with opposite arms.

Neck Stretches

Sit on one hand with back straight and shoulders straight.

Gently turn head to one side looking over your shoulder.

Hold 15 – 30 seconds. Return to center and repeat on other side.

Sit on one hand with back straight and shoulders straight.

Gently tilt your head to the side, moving your ear toward your shoulder.

Hold 15 – 30 seconds. Return to center and repeat on other side

Wrist Stretches

For anyone working at a computer all day, you will want to make sure to stretch your wrists to avoid repetitive stress injuries.  Remember to look away from the computer from time-to-time and don’t stare at the monitor for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Holding your arm our straight. Bend your wrist 90 degrees so that fingers are facing the floor.

Gently grab your fingers and pull them toward you. You should feel the stretch in the upper hand and wrist.

Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.  Repeat with the fingers facing up.  Change hands and repeat.

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