Stretch away the stress

Simple, discreet and refreshing, try out these workouts at your desk without making your colleagues' heads turn.



By Farhana Chowdhury

Published: Fri 29 Jan 2021, 3:42 PM

Technology is incredible. It eliminates unnecessary commutes, cuts down expenses, and gives access to necessary data and information at any given time and location. However, with technology comes a dreaded routine and high expectations. Students and employees alike are subject to long hours of workload, which forces us to stay seated at a desk, eyes fixed on the screen and fingers tapping away.

You could sign up for countless physiotherapy classes yet be plagued with pain radiating across the neck, shoulders and knees, if a majority of your time is spent seated at the desk. One way to resolve this is to take a break at 15-minute intervals and use the time to stretch and move around. But if you are in an environment where you cannot break away from your workstation, then here are few ways to bring relief while staying put (and no, you don't need any equipment like our dude in the photo).

Triceps triumph: Raise one arm with palm facing back, bend it at the elbow and try to touch the opposite shoulder blade. Use your other arm for support. Hold this stretch for about 10 to 20 seconds then let go. Repeat the same with the other arm. Notice how this relieves the tension in your shoulders.

Squeeze those blades: Let's step things up a bit. Sit up straight with your head upright. Engage your core and then push back your shoulder blades gently. Imagine as if you are trying to hold something between the blades, like a pen. Hold the pose then relax. Repeat this move at least 20 times.

Challenge your core: Position your chair straight and move to the edge of your seat. Focus on your core and lean a bit back. Hold it for about 10 to 15 seconds then relax. Don't bend your back or hunch. If you want to amp up the challenge, lift one foot off the ground and hold the pose.

torso twist: Sit upright and roll your shoulders back. Take a deep breath, then as you breathe out, twist your upper body to the side. You can use your arm rest as support. As you hold the pose, take another deep breath and try to twist a bit more with each exhale. Do this a total of five times, then repeat on the other side.

Mind your posture: The way you sit has a big impact on your entire body. Hunching over not only tenses up your neck and shoulders, but also affects your arms and knees, making your joints prone to aches. The best way to mind your posture is to imagine that you have an invisible string tied to the top of your head and it's pulling you upwards. Focus on every time you notice yourself slouching.


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