Stretch at your desk
Sitting for long periods is bad for our health. It’s bad for our joint health, it causes stiffness and pain, and just overall soreness. Of course, there are also links to prolonged (years) sitting in a chair at a desk for eight hours a day and some adverse long-term health effects that include the development of systemic disease.
So, what do we do? Well, you could always go out and buy a standing desk or a treadmill desk (both are trendy right now, and both do the job of keeping you actively working and still physically active) and those are great alternatives to sitting. But, in the short term, you can be mindful of a few techniques which should help to alleviate some of the adverse effects, including everyday soreness, of sitting in a chair at a desk.
Now, if you work in a place where you can just roll out your yoga mat and get your body moving (not many people do), every hour or so stand and stretch your hands to the sky. If it’s not too disruptive, bend low at the waist to get the blood flowing throughout the system again (Yes, for you Yogi’s out there, this is like the upper-half of a sun salutation).
For seated stretches, it’s important to hold each stretch for a minimum of thirty seconds. So, if you’re sitting in your chair, sit to the front edge and straighten one leg. Put your heel on the floor and stretch. Switch legs and repeat. Then, put your feet flat, and sit back on the chair until you feel well-balanced in your posture—probably the same position in which you sit and work—and then bring one knee into your chest, balancing yourself with your other foot, which should still be on the floor.
Stretch then switch. Make sure you’re breathing freely with each stretch. Make sure that this isn’t a workout—you’re not at the gym! It’s just a way to keep the blood flowing throughout your body, and hopefully to negate some of the bad effects of sitting at a desk all day.