We’d all love to be a machine that cranks out work 24/7 (well, maybe some of us). Alas, we are human and our bodies are not robots with parts that can be replaced. We must eat good food, drink water, sleep, and give our body movement so we do not fall apart. Harvard Health Publishing discusses the need for stretching and the damage that can happen if you aren’t doing it. Even if you are not working out regularly and stretching after, you should still be stretching 3 to 4 times a week for 15 – 30 seconds. 

Here are a few stretches to do at work to keep you flexible and maintain joint health: 

Hamstring Stretch There are a few ways to do this stretch. However, the most common is sitting on the floor with legs stretched out in front of you. Slide your hands down your legs toward your feet until you feel a slight burn. Hold it there, release and repeat. You can also do this stretch with a strap or on the wall. 

Chest Stretch To stretch your shoulders and neck. Clasp hands together behind your back, palms facing each other. Pull down and back. Hold there and release. 

“Big hug” Stretch To stretch your upper back WebMD recommends the “big hug” stretch where you wrap yourself in a big hug, grabbing each shoulder and take deep breaths. 

Back Stretch Place one ankle on the opposite knee. Using the arm from the foot that is on the ground grab the bent knee and gently twist your shoulders to face that direction. Remember to keep your chest up (don’t slouch). Take a few breaths in and out, then repeat on the other side. This will help stretch your lower back if it’s feeling tight. 

Stretching has amazing benefits and should be something to strive for. As with any exercise, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor beforehand, even if you are just stretching. This is especially true if you have, or have had, a previous injury. There are definitely many more stretches out there, but hopefully, these will help you get into a better stretching routine.

Photo by Dane Wetton​on Unsplash.