SELF CARE: Working from home? Glued to your computer? Simple stretching can help aching backs and sore necks –

Posted: April 20, 2020 at 10:49 am

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With the current health crisis many people are adjusting to working from home. For some that means spending much of the day sitting in front of a computer screen. Prolonged time spent in the seated position can leave us with stiff joints, aching backs and strained neck muscles. Many of these negative effects can be overcome by adding some simple stretching techniques into our day.

Neck tension is very common and can be made worse by spending large amounts of time on the computer or the cell phone. One way to reduce neck strain is to take time every hour to check our posture and do some stretches for those tight muscles. To relieve tension, bring your chin to your chest and hold it there for 30 seconds. Practice slowly turning your head to the left and to the right, pausing 10 seconds when you are in line with your shoulder. Bringing your ear to your shoulder is another great way to relieve tight muscles. Please do not pull on your neck just move gently to ease the stiffness.

Another area of the body that is affected by prolonged sitting is the shoulders. Working on a computer affects our posture, our shoulders begin to pull inward and up. A great way to stretch those shoulders while seated is to simply roll them forward and back. If you feel like standing up, you can do some small arm circles. Another shoulder stretch is simply to clasp your hands behind your back and lift slightly.

Lower back pain is an issue that can stem from being seated for too long. There are several stretches for back pain that can even be done in your chair. One simple stretch is to dangle in your chair. Bend forward bringing your arms to the floor and your head near your legs, allow your body to release tension as your back stretches. Another great option is a torso twist, while seated put one arm on the back or side of your chair, and twist toward the side.

In addition to stretching in the chair there are great options for stretching on the floor as well. One option is to lie on your back and bring your knees into your chest.

Also done on the ground is the cat-cow stretch. On your hands and knees arch your back up like a cat and bring it back down flat like a cow. This stretch can be performed 10-20 times.

There are some general guidelines to consider when starting to stretch. Stretches should be held anywhere from 15-30 seconds and repeated 2 to 4 times. Remember there is a big difference between discomfort and pain. You should only stretch to a point where you feel mild tightness, never maintain a stretch where you feel extreme pain or shooting pain. Stretching can be a great tool to help you release muscle tension, tightness and stress. Keep Moving Maquoketa!

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SELF CARE: Working from home? Glued to your computer? Simple stretching can help aching backs and sore necks -

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April 20th, 2020 at 10:49 am

Posted in Self-Help