Are you still on your path to making 2019 your healthiest year yet? If you’re like me, finding time to exercise is difficult and it’s even more difficult to find time to properly stretch.
We already know that sitting at your desk is unhealthy and can cause carpal tunnel and other arm issues but according to Sharon Hame, MD, associate clinical professor at UCLA's department of orthopaedic surgery, sitting at a desk does more than wear on your wrists and arms.
"I saw a woman...who had tennis elbow. She got it at work from the way she answered the phone and worked at the computer." Hames said, “We're seeing more things than carpal tunnel; those pains go up the arm to the elbow and shoulder and then translate to the neck and back. It's a huge problem."
Even if you’re ahead of the curve and use a standing desk, you can still benefit from stretching to help with your overall balance and tendon elasticity.
It’s important to not overwork your muscles and tendon but few know just how thin the margin for error is. Since tendons don’t actually stretch or relax (like muscles) and so once they get pulled to a certain point, they will snap.
Stretching until you “feel the burn;” particularly if you’re doing a static stretch (holding a position for an extended time) can actually do more damage than good to your body.
I went through this WebMD article and found a couple basic stretches you can do every day to benefit your overall wellness and increase flexibility. The best part of these stretches? They’re simple and fast.
The shoulder shrug
Breathe in and shrug your shoulders up to your ear lobes slowly. Hold there. Release and drop. Repeat three times. Follow this by nodding your head yes and no to help relieve tension in your shoulders.
The thoracic hug
Take a deep breath and wrap your arms tightly around your body. As you exhale, use your fingers to treat your back like it’s a book you’re opening with both hands.
This can be done standing or sitting and you probably already do it without realizing. Interlock your fingers and stretch your hands high above your head -- palms to the ceiling-- and reach as high as you can. Inhale, exhale, repeat.
This can also be done reaching forward and behind you for a similar effect.
However you plan to stick to your fitness goals, we can help your office become more health-conscious with a free trial! Set one up with us today.