3 Minute Break: How To Reverse the Symptoms of Adulting and Desk Work
Your body, no doubt, has the amazing ability to adapt to changes in its environment. An easy example to see this is how people who live in warmer climates tend to have a slightly lower core body temperature, on average, than people who live in colder climates. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t only adapt in a good way, it can also adapt in some not-so-good ways. If you spend most of your day at a desk or on a computer, you might have already noticed a loss in shoulder and hip mobility compared to your youth. You may even experience more aches and pains as you get older... But why?
As you sit at a desk, day after day, your body becomes accustomed to sitting, so much so that it becomes your body’s new ‘natural’ position. Now, you might be saying, “That’s not a ‘natural’ position at all!” And you’re right; but here’s what happens: you have taught your body that a seated position is the ‘normal’ position that it should be in. This positioning causes the muscles and tendons in the front of the shoulders and hips to shorten while the muscles and tendons in the back of the shoulders and hips lengthen. This imbalance puts your body at risk for injury and just plain daily discomfort.
The human body, when broken down into its basic components, is no more than a complex piece of machinery. Like a machine, if it is not used properly, it breaks down; if it does not receive regular maintenance, it begins to deteriorate.
Being active and exercising regularly are the best ways to maintain your body’s machinery, to keep it running as long as possible. It’s as easy as introducing short, fun, movements, that can be done anytime or anywhere, into your daily routine.
Loosen Up Your Wrists
Tight wrists and forearms are a common problem if you spend most of your day typing away at a computer. Regaining wrist flexibility is easy. Try this!
- Extend your arm in front of you with the palm facing down
- Bend your wrist so that you can see the back of your hand
- Use your other hand to pull your fingers towards your body for 30 seconds
- Repeat this process on the other arm
You can also do this stretch in the opposite direction. Rather than pulling the back of the hand towards your body, try pulling the palm closer to you.
Unlock Your Hips
You might have already noticed that your hips aren’t as flexible as they used to be. Even walking up a flight of stairs seems to hurt sometimes. Just adding a standing lunge at your desk will help you to feel relief. Here’s what you do:
- Stand at your desk with your chair behind you and grab a hold of the desk
- Place one knee on the chair behind you
- Slide the chair back while simultaneously bending your front knee until you feel a gentle stretch through the back hip
- Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, then repeat this process two times on each leg
This stretch is most effective if you have a rolling office chair, but it can be done if you only have access to a normal 4-legged chair. You can also do it without a chair by extending one leg behind you with a straight knee and completing steps 3 and 4 listed above.
Give your body the breaks it craves by taking a few seconds to stretch out. For more mobilization tips, check out our Online Courses.
Target Your Shoulders
The shoulder girdle is one of the most complex, and important joint regions in your body. A small shoulder injury can affect you for weeks, or even months, putting a serious damper on not only your workout routine, but your daily functionality. Luckily for you, we know that you can stay ahead of the game by doing a standing pectoral stretch. It’s easy! Here’s how:
- Stand in a doorway, in the exit to your office cubicle or near a corner in a hallway
- Place your hand on the frame of the door, edge of your cubicle, or corner of the wall with your arm extended sideways
- Turn your body away from the extended arm until you feel a gentle stretch through the pec, shoulder, and bicep
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then repeat the process on the other arm
If you work from home, or if you have a little extra space and privacy in your office, this stretch can also be done lying on the ground. Simply lay face down on the floor and follow steps 2-4 listed above. When on the floor, make sure to focus the effort of the stretch correctly by pulling the shoulder to touch the floor. Breathe, and adjust the rest of your stretch accordingly.
Getting tight, weak, and missing out on the things that you “used to be able to do” don’t need to be a part of your life as an adult. Stop saying, “When I was younger I used to be able to…” and start regaining the strength, flexibility, and body control that you felt back in college. Be the person who says, “I used to want to, and now I can.” Reverse the symptoms of aging using the extensive and proven GymnasticBodies mobility exercises found in the online courses.