This entry was written by Helmi Hunin, an LMT at our 56th street location. Given the increasing coverage of the perils of sitting and a sedentary lifestyle, we asked Helmi for a few tips desk jockeys and athletes alike could use to prevent injuries and cramping. Not surprisingly, the cure for sitting is to get up and MOVE!
For those of us chained to a desk all day, sitting for long periods can begin to create discomfort in our bodies. As a Licensed Massage Therapist, I suggest taking some time each day to do a few stretches that can help relieve the tension that you may be experiencing. Keep in mind that movement is one of the best things you can do to feel better- so get up often and move around. Remember to keep your bodies properly hydrated by drinking lots of water too.
1. Shoulder Rolls: Sit up straight and take a deep breath in as you raise one shoulder up towards your ear. As you exhale roll the shoulder back and down. Do this three times then repeat on the other side. Then do them both at the same time. Repeat three times. These will help release tension in your upper back and shoulders.
2. Neck Stretch: Sit up straight and use one arm to anchor yourself to the chair, while bringing the other arm up and over to the opposite side of your head as you gently let your head fall to that side. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side. This will help to lengthen your neck muscles, decreasing compression of the cervical vertebrae of your spine.
3. Chest Opener: Sit up in your chair and clasp your hands behind you. Take a deep breath in and roll your shoulders down and back. Hold for 10-15 seconds while taking a few deep breaths. For a deeper stretch, stand up with your legs a few feet apart and clasp your hands behind your back, take a deep breath in and bend forward as you exhale, allowing your arms to come up over your body. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
4: Wrist Stretch: Extend your arms in front of you. Use your left hand to pull the right wrist back. Hold for 5 seconds. Turn the right hand down now and use the left to stretch. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each hand.
5: Glute Stretch: Sit with both feet planted on the floor. Bring the right ankle up to rest on the left knee. Lean forward and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.