The work­out you can do at your desk

Be­ing stuck at a desk all day wreaks havoc on your body, so stretch it out with this se­quence by Mor­gan We­bert

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

1 HIP OPENER

WHY: Sit­ting for too long causes your hips to tighten up, which can lead to lower back pain, a pinched sci­atic nerve and aches down the back of your legs. This is an easy stretch to do while read­ing at your desk and can help save you from hip and back pain.

HOW: Sit­ting up­right in your chair, place your right an­kle on your left thigh and turn the raised knee out to the side. To am­plify the stretch, lean for­ward slightly. You should feel a strong stretch in the glutes of the bent leg and the lower back.

2 CHAIR TWIST

WHY: The spine houses our cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem so if it’s re­stricted so are our neu­ro­log­i­cal func­tions. Slouch­ing can also cause back pain, so wring out that spine.

HOW: Sit up­right in you chair, feet planted and knees to­gether. Twist to the right to place your right hand on the back of the chair as you twist to look over that shoul­der. Place your left hand on your right knee. Hold for 5-10 deep breaths. Re­turn to the cen­tre and re­peat on the other side.

3 NECK STRETCH

WHY: Us­ing a com­puter and mouse can strain your head for­ward and lift your shoul­ders for far too long, lead­ing to re­stricted blood flow to the brain as well as cre­at­ing ten­sion headaches and shoul­der pain. Reg­u­larly stretch­ing it out will help avoid any pain.

HOW: In­ter­lace your hands be­hind your head and drop your chin to your chest. Re­lax your shoul­ders away from your ears. Turn your chin to the right for 5-10 breaths then to the left for 5-10 breaths. Bring your chin back to the cen­tre and slowly lift your head back up to the start­ing po­si­tion.

4 STAND­ING SIDE STRETCH

WHY: Get­ting out of your chair at least ev­ery hour keeps your blood flow­ing and your brain awake. A sim­ple side stretch will lengthen the whole body and is an easy way to re­vi­talise your­self while prevent­ing bad pos­ture. Plus, it’s thought that lift­ing your hands above your head can boost con­fi­dence!

HOW: Stand tall and bring your right leg across in front of your left, then in­ter­lace your hands and stretch them above your head. Lean to the left and take a few deep breaths. Swap legs and re­peat the lean to the right.

5 FOR­WARD FOLD

WHY: This de­com­presses the spine and stretches out the back, hips and ham­strings as well as bring­ing ex­tra blood to the brain. HOW: Stand­ing with your feet hip-dis­tance apart, bend your knees slightly and fold for­ward. In­ter­lace your fore­arms and al­low your arms to hang. If this is un­com­fort­able, place your fore­arms on your chair or desk and rest your head on them. Re­lax and breathe deeply as you hold for 2-3 min­utes. Stand up slowly.

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