In today’s work environment, the majority of people spend most of their day confined to their desk. This type of sedentary behavior comes with some unfortunate side effects that can seriously damage work productivity. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 8 out of 10 Americans will experience significant lower back or shoulder pain as a result of sitting long hours at their desk.
However, there’s some good news, too: Just a little physical activity can help mitigate the negative health effects of sitting long hours. Even better, many of these exercises can be performed right at your desk.
- Arm stretches – Reach both arms above your head and stretch them upward. Hold that position for 10 seconds. Then, do the same with just the left arm, and then the right arm. This stretch helps keep arm and back muscles from getting cramped and causing pain.
- Neck stretches – This is a good stretch for preventing neck kinks and shoulder pain. Keeping your head facing forward, slowly turn your torso to the right and hold for five seconds, then do the same to the right. Repeat as many times as necessary.
- Shoulder lifts – Raise your shoulders up as far as they can go, and hold them there for five seconds. Do this five times (or more as necessary), and feel the tension in your upper back melt away.
- Knee bends – Push your chair back a little ways from the desk, and then lift your bottom an inch or two off the chair. Hold that position for five seconds, then slowly lower yourself back down. Repeat ten times.
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