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15 Easy Office Stretches For Better Employee Health

8 min read
Published on 09 July, 2020

Sitting in front of a computer for almost the whole day has many adverse effects on employee health. These can be bad body posture, eye strain, stress, headaches, etc. Since the work is unavoidable, these adverse effects must be dealt with.

Some popular solutions are office exercises, yoga in the workplace, and office stretches. For this piece, we’re concentrating on office stretches for the moment.

Working long hours in front of a computer can harm your employee’s body posture. With complete focus on the work, workers sometimes get unconscious about their body’s position. These give an open invitation to many office worker’s health problems, which can add to your healthcare costs.

The most commonly affected areas here are the portion surrounding the neck and shoulder. Here, adopting proper stretches can help your employees get rid of these troubles.

It is because stretching helps your muscles stay flexible, healthy, and strong. Working for an extended period without stretching tightens the muscles and shortens it. This results in the inability to do the necessary tasks with ease.

Therefore, your employees must stretch at regular intervals for better help. To guide your along further, here are five best office stretches for your employees to start on.

Ten best office stretches for your employee health

1. Chest Stretch

We generally form a hunched forward position while working in front of a computer. This has adverse effects on body posture and needs to be corrected. For doing this, a chest stretch will help your employees a lot.

Employees can do a chest stretch while being seated or standing up. It is important to note here that employees suffering from shoulder problems should avoid this stretch.

How to do it?

  • Take the arm to be behind the body with fingers laced together.
  • Straighten the arm and push it upward till you feel a nice stretch in the chest.
  • Hold the position for 20 seconds.

2. Shoulder Shrug

The shoulders and neck take most of the beating for our bad posture habits. These body parts take the maximum impact while typing, clicking, and scrunching. While doing these activities without notice for our posture, it tightens the muscles and increases the tension.

Here, a shoulder shrug goes a long way in easing the tension. Workers can perform this stretch while being seated or standing up as well.
Repeat this 8 to 10 times, and then roll your shoulders forward.

How to do it?

  • Lift the shoulders to ear level.
  • Squeeze them as hard as possible.
  • Hold the position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Gently relax with the shoulder coming down to its natural place.

3. Spinal Twist

Working while sitting down for long periods in work environment can affect your lower back rendering it itchy and tight. This accumulated tension on your lower back must be released from time to time and keep everything working perfectly.

To release the pressure from the lower back, a spinal twist works marvels in this case.

Here, doing this while holding the chair handle helps deepen the stretch.
It is important here not to overdo it. You must advise your employee/s to turn only as far as their body allow them to.

How to do it?

  • Sit down with your feet touching the floor.
  • Contract the abs and turn your torso to the right.
  • Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat it on the other side

4. Torso Stretch

Working in a hunched position is a problem all employees suffer. No matter how careful one may be, this nuisance does appear from time to time. Since it is such a common occurrence, you must do the torso stretch to ease the pressure.

This stretch concentrates on the muscles on your back, sides, and arms.
and. This stretch can be done 8 to 10 times in one sitting.

How to do it?

  • Take a seated down or standing up position.
  • Lace fingers together and stretch the arms towards the ceiling.
  • Stretch those arms up as high as possible.
  • Exhale and bring the arms down gently.

5. Forearm Stretch

While typing away at their computers, employees often unknowingly apply pressure on their forearms and wrists. It can cause trouble down the way, and the wrist's accumulating pressure may also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

To correct this situation, a forearm stretch would help your employees a lot.
These five easy stretches will help your employees work well even with long hours with a computer. Following these regularly will render your employees better movement and flexibility. This, in return, helps with productivity and better employee well-being.

The best way to get around these stretches is to encourage your employees to do these stretches at every 45-55 minute interval. These can be in between rest breaks.

How to do it?

  • Stretch their right arms out with their fingers pointing downwards.
  • With the left hand, gently pull those fingers of the right hand towards the body.
  • You will feel a stretch in the forearm
  • Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds
  • Switch hands and repeat the exercise a few times.

6. Tricep Stretches

Triceps stretches are one kind of arm stretches. These muscles are used for stabilizing the shoulder and works as an extension of the elbow. It works on those large muscles that are at the back of the upper arms.

The triceps and biceps work together and help in providing strength to the forearm movements. They are vital muscles for developing upper body strength, which becomes even more important as one ages.

Triceps stretches increase the flexibility in the body and prevent injuries.

How to do it?

  • Raise your arm and bend it.
  • Reach out with your hand to the opposite side.
  • With the help of your other hand, pull the elbow toward your head.
  • Hold the posture for 20 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretching exercise on the alternate arm.

7. Hip and knee flexion stretch

Hip flexors are the muscles near the upper part of the thighs. They are key for the smooth movement of the lower body. They assist the person in walking, bending, and swiveling the hips. But if these muscles are too tight, hip flexors can stretch a bit too much and cause a tear.

Regular stretching exercises can help to keep the hip flexors loose and prevent unwanted injuries.

How to do it?

  • Hold one of your knees and pull it towards your chest.
  • Hold the pose for 20 seconds.
  • Switch the knee and repeat the exercise.

8. Neck stretches

Sometimes due to poor posture, the head and shoulders drift forward. Over time, some muscles in the neck around the chest can shorten and become tight. This can lead to chronic pain in the neck and spinal region, which can become very uncomfortable.

By following a basic neck stretching exercise, the postural muscles can loosen up, reducing the pain around the neck.

How to do it?

  • Lean forward your head.
  • Roll towards one side and hold the posture for 15 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise on the alternate side.
  • Relax and lift the chin back to the initial position.
  • Repeat this a few times in each direction.

9. Sitting back extensions

Sitting for long hours can be a tough task. It leads to a lot of employees complaining of backaches. By doing a basic back extension exercise, the problem can be solved. Make sure that it is done slowly. You must be under control while doing the exercise. Avoid rapid jerking movements to be safe from pulling up a nerve or an injury.

Although it is tempting to arch the back backward as much as possible, this can add unnecessary strain on the lower back.
Consult your doctor, If you have back or shoulder problems.

How to do it?

  • Put your feet together and sit in a straight posture.
  • Put the palms of your hands in your backside near the hip.
  • Lean back over and feel the stretching of your lower back.
  • Avoid doing it multiple times at a time.

10. Inner Thigh Stretch

This is an excellent stretching exercise for loosening the inner thighs, hips, and groin regions. This opens up the hips and helps to get rid of tightness and tension in the lower portion of the body.

How to do it?

  • Take a seating position, spread out the legs wide with toes pointing outwards.
  • Lean forward with your elbows on the thighs.
  • Keep the back straight and contract the abs.
  • Now gently press forward using the elbows.
  • Slowly push the thighs out until there is a stretch in the inner thighs.
  • Hold for 20 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise in a few cycles.

11. Wrist Release

Wrist gets a lot of stress while typing continuously for hours. These conditions take a toll on hands, and eventually, wrist disorders may crop up like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Give your wrist a little and do some exercises to do avoid disorders.

How to do it?

  • Extend your right arm and then straighten up your palm.

  • With the help of your left hand, grab the palm of your right hand.

  • Now apply the pressure with the help of the left fingers and stretch the correct fingers.

  • Now bring down the right palm and stretch to a point with the help of the left hand until it hurts.

  • While stretching, make sure that you do not bend the right elbow and keep the wrist pointing directly straight out from the elbow.

  • Repeat on the other side

12. Supple Shoulder

Slouching is very common while working. It puts a lot of pressure on the shoulder muscles. Hence it is essential to take some time off from work and stretch.

Supple Shoulder is Chest and Shoulder opening and hits the pectoralis major and minor and the latissimus dorsal.

How to do it?

  • Stand up from your chair and keep a little distance from your chair
  • Keep your body straight, and then bend down by bringing your hands on the desk.
  • When you move down, make sure that your hip is about four feet from the desk.
  • Now your chest towards the floor
  • Look straight down towards the floor
  • The goal is to bring the crown of the head level with the desk.
  • This will give a stretch to your shoulders
  • Now Pause for a moment, repeat the same thing, and release the stiffness.

13. Hip Extension

Sitting jobs put pressure on the hips, and they might get tight and cranky.
Employees feel and Hips are connected with the lower back. When there is no movement and continuous sitting for hours, it might lead to lower back pain.

Let us see how Hip Extension works.

How to do it?

  • Keep your hands firmly on the desk.
  • Take a step back and move your feet back from the desk.
  • Gently, move one of your feet (Right one) and keep it straight; now move the other leg and back it backward (your left foot) and stretch it.
  • This will activate your quadriceps a pulling the back knee straight.
  • Repeat this for each leg.

14. Hip Rotation

Hip rotations are fun office exercises to do. Continuous sitting without any breaks can put pressure on the hip bones.

A lack of activity can affect one's productivity and add stress

How to do it?

  • Sit in a position with your spine straight and plant your feet firmly on the floor.
  • Lift your right foot and place the right ankle on the left knee
  • Now with the help of your left hand, hold your right ankle
  • Now lower your right knee towards the floor
  • Press your knee with your right hand and stretch the muscle.
  • You will feel the stretch in the glutes when the femur rotates downward.

15. Neck Flexion

The neck is one of the essential body parts. We spend all day looking up and down at our laptops and smartphones. When there is no movemement on the neck, it causes stifness and muscle pain.

Continuous sitting and no physical activity affect not only employee health but also mental-well being.

It is essential to take out few minutes and take care of your neck.

How to do it?

  • Place your cradled hands behind your back.
  • Now lower your head and drop your chin towards the chest.
  • Do not apply too much pressure.
  • Bring your left hand above your right ear and then gently stretch
  • Repeat on the other side!

Conclusion

Though many employees generally prefer a desk job rather than a field job, there are negatives in both. While a field job will keep your employees active, a desk job won't. And the most pressing concern of a desk job is the sedentary lifestyle.

This lifestyle often gifts employees with lousy posture, body aches, weight gain, and a lot of inactive awfulness. It is important to note here that this gets reduced to a great extent to ensure proper employee health.

As of today, we recommend using the basic easy stretches mentioned above at work.

This article is written by Nizamul Bhuyan, a Content Marketer at Vantage Circle. With a professional exprience of writing on various subject domains like Corporate Wellness and Sports, he prefers to watch football and explore new places to unwind. To get in touch, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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