Whether you’ve always worked remotely or quarantine has brought your office to your home base, our bodies are affected by the constant slouching over a computer, hours on our cell phones, laying in bed on our laptop, and generally falling into poor posture habits. This is why it’s extra important to stretch out our bodies to protect our joints and alleviate aches and pains. Today, we’re sharing the PERFECT stretch routine for remote workers to ease some tension and pain that’s built up after hours of working from bed, the couch, or whatever you’re using as your current work from home “desk”.
Our neck is a major culprit of aches and pain related to constantly working from our laptops all day. To make matters worse, once we’re off the clock, many of us spend additional time hunched over as we scroll through our phone. When our neck is constantly feeling sore or strained, it can lead to headaches and fatigue. Some quick and easy stretches can make all the difference.
- Half circles:
- 10 Neck Circles Forward: Start with your right ear to right shoulder and roll it forward until your left ear reaches your left shoulder, then roll it in the forward direction back to the right. Repeat this ten times
- 10 Neck Circles Backwards: Start with your right ear to right shoulder and roll it backward until your left ear reaches your left shoulder. Then, roll is back to the right. Repeat this ten times.
- Nod your head NO 10 times, then YES 10 times
- You read that right! EASY PEASY! Slowly shake your head NO, then repeat YES!
Our back is another body part that is majorly affected by poor posture, particularly while working from home (we see you working away from the La-Z-Boy!). It’s crucial to lengthen our spine so we don’t end up feeling the effects later on. Here are a few stretches to help lengthen your spine after a long day of hunching over a computer.
- Chest Expansion:
- Interlace your hand behind your back, resting them by your glutes. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and open your chest. Option to take this further by performing it in a standing forward fold position, letting your torso hang heavy and reach your arms back.
- Cat Cow:
- Start in a table top position (on your hands and knees, like a cat). Press the earth away with your palms. Inhale, expand your chest open and gaze up. Exhale, tuck round and curl. Press your upper back to the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest. Repeat this cycle using your breath to guide your movement. This can also be a good tummy stretch.
- Seated Torso Twist:
- Start seated crisscross apple sauce. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand by your seat. Inhale, lengthen your spin. Exhale, twist deeper gazing towards the back wall. Once you have taken a few rounds of breath, swap it out and repeat on the other side.
- Supine Twist:
- Start lying on your back. Hug your knees into your chest then let both knees fall to the right. Extend your arms into a T and gaze in the opposite direction of your knees. Stay for a few breaths then repeat on the other side.
Typing all day can put MAJOR strain on your forearms and wrists, YIKES! Stretching out your wrists after a long day of work can help prevent problems down the road, like arthritis.
- Wrist Circles:
- Grab your right wrist with your left hand. Roll your right wrists ten times each direction. Repeat on the other side.
- Roller Coaster Wrists:
- Interlace your fingers. Perform a roller coaster movement with your hands waving them up and down.
- Forward/Backward Stretches:
- Sit on your knees. Place the palms of your hands on the ground in front of you and lean back slightly until you feel a stretch. Hold for a few seconds. Then, place the tops of your hands face down on the ground in front of you and lean back slightly until you feel a stretch. Hold these stretches for as long as feels good. Repeat both stretches twice or three times through.
Performing this quick stretch routine for remote workers after a day of work can make a world of difference in our overall health and well-being. Stretching helps keep our bodies and muscles from becoming overly tight and can work out the creeks and cracks after a day of sitting with little movement. Although often overlooked, stretching is equally as important as strength training when it comes to correcting and improving poor posture. If you are constantly building muscle without balancing it with regular stretching and mobility work, your muscles will begin to shorten, which can decrease your performance in (and out) of the gym.
We suggest setting the mood when you stretch by lighting a candle and putting on a relaxing playlist. Add in a quick meditation and some deep breathing exercises before or after to get your mind to a place of total relaxation. Because, hey, you earned it after a long day on the clock! This stretch routine for remote workers doesn’t have to be performed at night though, it works great as a morning routine as well. Whenever you decide to stretch it out, it’s a great way to destress your mind, improve your posture, and boost your spirit!