Every morning you settle into your desk with a cup of coffee around 9 am to catch up on yesterday’s emails. Fast-forward five hours and you realize you haven’t gotten up from your seat once.
You’ve heard it before, but sitting all day, every day can lead to back problems, neck pain and a slew of other health concerns. To remedy this situation, we tapped Kellen Scantlebury, Fit Club founder and physical therapist, for his top five desk exercises (deskercises, if you will).
1. Seated torso twist: If you’re starting to feel tightness between your shoulder blades and lower back, this one’s for you. Sitting in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand and place your left hand on the arm of the chair. Twist your torso around as far as your body will allow and hold the stretch. Slowly release and face forward. Repeat on the other side.
2. Forward fold: This helps reduce the tension that develops in the hamstrings while sitting. Tight hamstrings also pull on the lower back muscles so you might feel pain in this area as well. Standing in front of your chair, let your upper body fold over your straight legs. If you experience extreme tightness, modify the stretch by bending your knees a little bit.
3. Upper trapezius stretch: This stretch will alleviate neck pain with one simple move. With your left hand behind your back, place your right arm over your head so that your right hand is over your left ear. Using your hand, gently stretch your head toward your right shoulder. Hold the stretch and repeat on the other side.
4. Chest opener: Sitting on the edge of your chair, stretch your arms behind your back and clasp your hands together. To open your chest, pull your arms up and away from your body. Hold the stretch, release and repeat as necessary.
5. Wrist and finger extension: Release tension of the small muscles in your forearm by placing your palms flat on the desk, facing toward your body. Gently lean into this position to feel more of a stretch.
For more information about specific rehab and personal training programs, call (646) 875-8348 to speak with a Fit Club specialist.