VIDEO: 2 Minute Stretch Routine For Chronic Sitters

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VIDEO: 2-Minute Stretch Routine for Desk Jockies

Stretching and desk desk setup tips to keep you pain-free at the computer

By Karen Belfall R. Kin., B.Sc. (Hons.) Kin., FLXME Stretch Therapist

When you think of office ergonomics, do you think of fancy equipment and chairs? Actually, ergonomics is the science of fitting a task or workstation to a person. Adjusting your workstation and posture throughout the day is the primary objective. When a posture is sustained, this means that muscles, tendons and ligaments have been contracted or stressed to support that posture, and those tissues can become fatigued or tight. Before replacing all your office furniture, try these simple adjustments and stretches.

How to set up your workstation

If sitting at a computer here are some tips to remember:

  • 90 degree rule: ankles, knees, hips (90-100 degrees), elbows

  • Relax your shoulders, upper arms by your side, typing just below elbow height

  • Avoid uneven and point contact pressures on the elbows, forearms, wrists, thighs, and buttocks.

  • Feet flat on floor or on a foot rest if needed to raise your chair so that the elbows clear the height of the keyboard

  • Low back curve supported

  • Keep the keyboard no further than a forearm distance away, and directly in front of you

  • Keep the top third of your screen at eye level

  • With laptops, use a docking station and an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse

Once your workstation is set up, don’t forget to take a 30-60 second microbreak every 20-40 minutes of stationary (seated) work to stand up, hydrate, vary work tasks, take a vision break, change position, or stretch.

Our bodies are meant to be in motion. If we hold a posture for too long, the muscles supporting it become fatigued and tight. That is why it is so important to stretch and change your posture frequently throughout the day.

Try these simple exercises and stretches at your desk. Remember to move within your own pain free range of motion and do not hold your breath.

2-Minute Stretch Routine For Desk Jockies

Assisted Stretches for the Chronic Sitter

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Stretch for the Trapezius

Many clients complain of upper back and neck tightness and pain from working at their computers and using devices. The below stretch releases tension in the neck and feels amazing. We don’t realize how much tension we carry in the neck until after the tension is relieved.

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Stretch for the Hip Flexors

When we sit for long periods of time, our hips are kept in a contracted position. Staying in a seated position for long periods of time can cause tightness, stiffness and strain on the hips flexors. This stretch releases that tightness and improves range of motion.

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Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle      

If your chair is too short or too tall, extra pressure and strain can be put on your glutes. In some cases, tightness in the glutes can cause pinching of the sciatic nerve, causing pain from the low back, through the buttocks, and down the back of the lower leg. This stretch can help elevate that pain in some cases.



Sources:

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/stretching.html  

https://www.ccohs.ca/products/posters/sitting/

Category 1Justin GouldFLXME