OK, you already know that sitting is the new smoking. Lucky for you (us), there are ways to make a desk-job situation better. Take, for example, these 7 simple stretches. They’ll not only relieve physical aches and pains, but they’ll also offer you a mental relief from the stress of a hectic day. Best of all? You won’t look totally nuts when you bust out these exercises at the office. (Swear!)
BEST FOR: Tense shoulders
THE HOW-TO: Sit up and straighten your back. Put your hands on the back of your head. Push your elbows back gently to increase the stretch.
BEST FOR: Leg cramps
THE HOW-TO: Press your toes firmly on the floor and distribute your weight onto the balls of your feet. Keep your legs straight as you raise your heels above the ground. Hold the position for two seconds and lower your heels down. Repeat as necessary.
BEST FOR: Bad posture and upper back pain
THE HOW-TO: Shrug both shoulders forward and up. Roll the shoulders back down in a circular motion and take in slow, deep breaths. Reverse the direction and repeat as necessary.
UPPER TRAPEZIUS STRETCH
BEST FOR: Upper back and neck pain
THE HOW-TO: Breathe in and gently pull your head toward each shoulder until a light stretch is felt. For a deeper stretch, wrap your other arm around the opposite side of your back. Alternate on each side.
BEST FOR: Tight chest and shoulder muscles
THE HOW-TO: Reach behind to your desk chair and grab hold of your chair with your two hands. Drop your chin to your chest and pull.
BEST FOR: Rigid arms
THE HOW-TO: Reach your arm straight across your chest and wrap your other arm to pull in closer to your body. Repeat on the other side.
BEST FOR: Lower back pain and leg cramps
THE HOW-TO: Wrap both hands underneath your thigh and bring your knee up toward your chest. Slowly pull in using your arms. Repeat on the other side.
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