Many Americans recently saw a change in their daily work routine. With the current stay-at-home advisory extended, many of us are working or attending school from home. In a previous blog, we talked about how prolonged sitting can have negative short-term and long-term effects on the body. We went over sitting posture at a desk, muscle groups affected by sitting, and the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommended activity levels. If you have not read it, go check it out!
In today’s blog post, we will go over a few stretches that you can do to combat the short-term effects of sitting. Stretches should be done every 1-2 hours.
Standing Back Extension
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, place hands on your hips. Bend backwards slightly. Return to starting position. Repeat this 10 times. This exercise is not for you if you have spondylolisthesis, spondylosis, or nerve pain/leg pain that worsens with each repetition.
Burdenko Sitting and Head Turning (Modified)
Begin sitting on stable chair. Place your hands behind your head, elbows are up and turned out. Simultaneously stretch your arms out to the sides as you turn and look to the right. Return to starting position. Repeat on the left side. Repeat this 10 times on each side. Be careful if you have any shoulder limitations/injuries, or neck limitations.
Burdenko Bench On/Off Stretch
Start sitting upright in a chair, facing a second chair. Lift one leg up onto the chair in front of you and reach for it with the opposite hand. Return to starting position. Repeat on the other leg. Return to starting position. If you can, lift both legs up simultaneously (back should be neutral), and reach for your feet with both hands. Repeat 5-10 times each side. This will stretch your hamstrings. If you have a preferred hamstring stretch, go ahead and do that instead.
Seated Hip Flexor Stretch
Sit with half your buttocks on the chair, support your self with your arm. Stretch the leg that is “hanging” off the edge back until you feel a light stretch along the front of your hip. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.
Interested in more exercises related to posture? Check out this blog post: https://mashpeefitness.blogspot.com/2015/03/5-quick-exercises-to-help-correct-poor.html
Blog post by Damaris Marques PT DPT.
About Damaris Marques PT DPT
Damaris ("Dee") joined Cape Cod Rehab in August 2017 after receiving both her Doctor of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science from Springfield College. She is certified in Part I and Part II of the Burdenko Method and believes in a patient-therapist partnership where both are working together to meet the patient's functional goals. Dee is bilingual (English and Brazilian Portuguese) and lists crocheting as a hobby along with singing and a little dancing when no one is looking!