Working at a desk all day can be hard on your body and mind, but by allowing yourself a chance to stretch, it helps give your body the attention it deserves. Depending on your office environment, you may be hesitant to take the time for a stretch break, but here are a few good reasons to start adding it to your daily routine:
It improves flexibility. Sitting in an upright position for hours on end wreaks havoc on the natural curvature of the spine. If your lower back often feels tight and uncomfortable, or your shoulders feel like they’re inching up toward your ears, implementing a few stretches every day can help relieve that constant tension, both inside and outside of your workplace.
It can help improve your posture. After sitting or standing for long periods of time gravity starts to pull you down and poor postural habits may start to creep in. Taking a minute or two to stretch throughout the day can realign and rebalance your posture.
Good posture reduces strain on the spine and neck, lowering the likelihood of shoulder, back, and neck pains and strains.
It leaves you refreshed. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking time for a break can improve your work flow and productivity. When you step away from your desk and release the stresses of your responsibilities, you come back to your work with a clear mind, ready to tackle the rest of your day.
Concerned about how to make stretch time a part of your schedule? Here are a few tips to help you implement stretching in to your day-to-day life!
Make it routine. Make a point to stretch at the same time(s) each day. Set an alarm to stretch every hour, take a few moments once you’re back from lunch, or stretch in the hallway after a bathroom break. Your new habit will be more likely to stick if it feels ingrained in your schedule.
Think outside the box. If you can’t drop to the floor for a yoga break, there are many stretches you can do standing up. If you’re stuck to your desk, there are plenty of subtle ways to stretch while you’re seated and working.
Don’t feel awkward. If you feel strange in the beginning, that’s okay. Once you start recognizing all the benefits of taking this time, it won’t feel as silly. After you start, others might even catch on and try it out for themselves. Before you know it… You might even be leading stretching breaks for your whole office!