Now that a lot of us have been working from home (wfh), we're all starting to feel the burn ... and not in a good way.
I'm about to start month two of working from home, and I can tell you that my tailbone has been aching, my neck has been stiff, and my back needs a good cracking. And I know I'm not the only one. My co-workers have been talking about it at our daily online check-ins, and my friends and I have swapped complaints.
We're lucky enough to still have our jobs, but maybe not have all the ergonomic perks that usually come with office work. It's unclear when we'll get back to our back-friendly, keyboard cushioned desks and how long we'll be able to stay at them. At this point, it's probably in our best interest to start setting aside some time to combat the pain. So here are a few quick and effective stretches you can do in the comfort of your own home for the comfort of your desk!
1. Neck release
I'm putting this one first because it's definitely the one that affects me the most. Keeping my head bent over a keyboard or my neck thrust forward as I stare at the screen definitely gets my neck aching and stiff by the end of the day—heck, by lunchtime! I heard a satisfying crack the first time I did this one! Start by tilting your head toward your left shoulder. Turn your head back so you are looking at the ceiling. Take your left arm and gently pull your head toward your shoulder—but just a little! Don't ever pull or move to the point of discomfort. These are supposed to feel good! While continue to pull, move your head so you're facing down to the floor and then back up to the ceiling. Do five rotations on each side.
2. The good ol' sit and reach.
This stretch may be familiar to you from elementary school gym class. It's pretty basic. Sit on the ground, pull one leg toward you so it's bent as though you're halfway into sitting "criss cross applesauce," and kick the other leg in front of you. Lean toward the extended leg's toes and reach. If you can't reach your toes, land at your shin. Can't reach your shin, land at your knee. Hold this position on each side for as long as it takes you to do 10 slow breath cycles (in...1...out...in...2...out...in...3...).
3. Doorway stretch.
This one is similar to one you may do in your chair, where you hold the back of your chair and twist. But instead you're using the doorway. Hold your arm bent at a 90-degree angle and hold the door frame wherever your hand falls. Take a step through the doorway, keeping your hand on the frame so your torso kind of twists. Again, breathe through this position 10 times on each side.
Hopefully these stretches help relieve you from some discomfort you're getting from being cramped at your desk all day! If nothing else, it provides you an excuse to walk away from your screen for a few minutes!
Do you have any helpful stretches you use to keep you alert and comfortable while you work? Share them in the comments!
The Run-Around is a weekly feature, focusing on fitness in and around Annapolis, MD.