Many people today are accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. The reduction in the use of manual labor for manufacturing reduced the number of blue collar jobs to a considerable degree. These days, a worker is someone who, more often than not, sits in an airconditioned office, working on his/her computer. It’s a nice, easy-going life, no doubt! The problem arises when it comes to health. The problem with a sedentary lifestyle is that there is very little physical activity during the course of an ordinary day. Of course, people try to work out regularly, at the home or at the gym, or take up sports or yoga. But they often find themselves short on time.
The most common health issue that arises from a sedentary lifestyle is shoulder and back aches. Read on to learn about various stretching exercises that would help you prevent any shoulder and back issues from cropping up.
1. Lateral Neck Flexions
This exercise relaxes the stressed out muscles of the neck and shoulder region. You can perform it anywhere, even while working in front of a computer screen. Make sure that you take a break every hour and do 2 sets of this exercise with at least 5 reps in each set, after every two hours. This would stretch the muscles and give you a relaxing effect. Here’s what you need to do:-
While sitting, keep your body straight.
- Place both the hands on the arms of your chair in a relaxed position.
- Twist the neck on either side without giving much strain.
- One movement on each side comprises one rep of this exercise.
2. Scratcher towel stretch
This would not only relax your shoulders but also help in maintaining their strength. Sitting in front of your computer screen all day long diminishes the strength of your shoulders. Even if you can’t build their strength, you should at least work towards maintaining it. Since a towel is involved in this exercise, try doing it before going for the morning shower. Just 3 sets of 4 reps each would give you relaxed shoulders at the start of your day. You can repeat the same process before going to sleep. At the same time you’ll develop the healthy habit of taking an evening shower as well. Here’s what you need to do:-
- Take a towel and hold it in a stretched position in front of your eyes.
- Make sure that your shoulder muscles feel stretched.
- Move it up, above your head in the stretched position.
- Now twist one arm at your back and other above so as to tilt the towel horizontally.
- Keep it stretched for 10 seconds.
- Now change the arm. This makes one rep.
- This would maintain your shoulder strength and relax your arm.
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3. Fit stretch
This stretch works on your shoulders as well as your chest. Just doing 2 sets of 5 reps each would make your shoulder and chest muscles free from all muscle aches and would also strengthen them to some extent. Try doing this exercise before a morning shower. Here’s what you need to do:-
- Stand with your left hand having a pole or a wall by your side.
- Hold the pole or wall with your right palm and move forward to put your body weight on the wall.
- Hold the position for 5 seconds.
- Repeat the process with your right hand as well. This makes one rep.
- This would strengthen and relax your shoulder and chest muscles.
1. Sit ups on a chair without using hands
It’s easy to implement in your routine and is the savior of all back pain issues related to sedentary lifestyle. Here’s what you need to do:-
- Sit on a chair with your back and spine straight.
- Stand up without using hands on the arms of your chair.
- Sit down once again without using your hands.
- In the break that you should take every hour, just do 5 reps before leaving your desk and go for a walk around the office.
2. Torso twist
Another exercise that you can implement on your office chair, while at work. Here’s what you need to do:-
- While sitting straight, just twist yourself on to the right using the arms of your chair.
- Do it to your left as well. It makes one rep.
- For implementing it in your routine, just do 2 sets of 5 reps in your hourly break.
- You’ll feel stress free as it relaxes your back and muscles around the spine.
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3. Cobra stretch
This is a morning exercise that should be done 3 times before taking the morning shower.
- Lie on the ground in pushup position.
- Move your body up using your arms at rising above and bend your head backwards.
- Make sure that your spine makes a curve and your muscles around spine feel stretched.
- Stay there for 20 seconds.
- Return to the pushup position.
- This should help keep back and spinal aches away.
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