If you are among the 80% of the population that sit for 8+ hours a day, then this post is for you. I bet your back is sore, shoulders are tight and you often have aching hips. Whatever your complaint might be, it most likely leads back to sitting for way too long. We are a society that loves to sit. You sit in your car on the way to work, then you sit in your chair at work, find a seat at lunch, sit more in the afternoon and then get home and sit in front of the TV or computer. My back aches just thinking about it.
It's hard to combat sitting when a good part of your day is working in an office. The key is to stretch while sitting, so your muscles have room to move and feel less tight. Angie Michelle has picked her top 5 sitting stretches that can be done at the office or home. The key is to do them often and repeat. Your back will thank you!
Chair Forward Fold
Begin by pushing your chair away so that there is enough room for your upper body to fold over. Firmly plant your feet on the ground, grab a hold of the chair on the sides just below the thighs, inhale lifting up and exhale folding forward with a flat back. When you cannot move any closer with a flat back, round forward and relax the head down bringing the hands to the floor or to your legs. Release any tension in the head or neck and relax here as long as you need to. When you feel ready, simply roll the body by up and repeat as necessary.
Begin by facing forward and sitting up tall. Roll the shoulders back once or twice and find a comfortable upright position. Take a deep inhale and as you are exhaling, twist to the left bringing the left arm around the back of the chair and right hand reaches just below the left thigh. Actively roll the left shoulder back and down while expanding the spine towards the ceiling and hold here while breathing. Untwist and repeat on the other side.
Sitting up tall, stretch both arms out horizontally beside you. Swing the left arm underneath right and then begin to wrap the forearms around. If this is not possible, you can always grab for the shoulders. If your arms are wrapped, be sure to keep the elbows in the same line as shoulders. Feel the expansion in the shoulders and the back and begin to breathe deeply. Hold for as long as you like and repeat on the other side.
Bring your feet hip width apart facing your chair. Bend over and grab the edges and slowly wheel the chair away from you. If you don't have wheels on your chair you can walk the feet back instead. This is a great substitute for Downward Dog at the office and will help take the pressure off of the lower back and stretch out tight hamstrings.
Thread The Needle Chair
Sitting in your chair, begin to bring the left leg across the right thigh. Keeping the left foot flexed, slowly lower the chest towards the legs. Option to grab underneath the chair or desk in front of you. Hold for as long as you want while breathing. Lift the chest back up and repeat on the other side.
Images by Instinct Photography