Sitting in a desk chair for 8 hours a day is necessary for many workers but all of that sitting can take a toll on your body. The position puts pressure on your lower body all day while putting your upper body through the strain of small repetitive motions.
Regular visits to the chiropractor and massage therapist can help undo the muscle and joint damage from sitting at a desk. But in between visits, there are some handy lower body stretches you can perform both before and after work and while you sit at your desk.
This stretch is best done before or after work unless you have a closed office where you can lay on a floor or couch.
Stretch out flat on your back with your legs stretched straight out. Slowly bend your right knee and draw it towards your chest. You can link your hands behind your upper thigh for assistance if you need it. Go as far with your knee as you can comfortably.
Now extend your lower leg so that you're pushing your foot up towards the ceiling. Straighten your leg out as much as possible using your hands behind your upper thigh as a support. When your leg is as straight as you can, spread out your toes and try to roll your ankle back towards your head. You should feel a gentle pull through your entire upper and lower hamstring.
Hold for as long as you can and then switch legs. Repeat with each leg at least three times.
Scoot your chair away from your desk so that you have enough room to bend forward with your head. Position your butt on the edge of the chair. Open your legs as wide as you can with your feet flat on the floor.
Now slowly and carefully lean forward making sure you bend at the waist but keep your back as straight as possible. Keep leaning until you feel a gentle pull in the muscles on both the inside and outside of your upper thighs. Place your hands on the floor, if possible, and use your hands to walk your way forward into a deeper stretch. Hold for at least 10 seconds before slowly rolling back up.
Repeat this hip stretch at least twice during the day if you sit at the desk for the hole 8 hours.
There are two different versions of this ankle and quad stretch. One you have to do standing up using a door frame or wall for support, while the other can be done at your chair. The standing one will likely give you the deeper stretch but not be possible depending on your office setup.
For the standing stretch, stand so that you are facing a wall or door frame that you can use for balance. Stand with your legs together with a slight bend at the knee. Lift your right foot up so that it comes towards your butt. At the same time, reach back with the with your left hand and grab hold of your foot.
Pull the foot upwards with gentle pressure until you feel a pull in your quad and up through your ankle. Lean forward a bit if you need to make the stretch deeper. Repeat with the other foot.
For the sitting stretch, scoot your butt to the edge of the seat, leave your left foot flat on the floor and cross your right calf over your left knee. Your ankle bone should be positioned to the side of your knee or upper thigh, depending on your flexibility.
Use your hand to first rotate your foot and ankle in a slow, circular motion. Now hold your ankle firmly and start to bend forward at the waist. You can use your free arm to both steady and exert gentle pressure on your bent leg. Continue leaning forward until you feel the stretch through your quad. Hold for at least 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
To learn more, contact a chiropractic clinic like Forest Park Chiropractic & Acupuncture.Share
29 July 2015
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