Benefits Of Stretching At Work
Importance Of Doing Stretches At Work
How long have you been sitting at your desk today? More importantly, how often have you gotten up from the chair and stretched out your muscles? In today’s workforce, employees are constantly finding the demand to meet deadlines a draining task. We sit hunched over our desks for countless hours just to finish the task in front of us and be as productive as we possibly can. But are we really being all that productive?
Back pain is the leading cause of employees taking sick leave and it can often be avoided with the simple act of getting out of our seats and stretching our knotted muscles. The benefits of stretching at work are numerous and may even make you more productive so you can meet those deadlines and feel better at the end of a harrowing day as well.
1. Reduce Fatigue
After sitting down at your desk for countless hours pounding away at your keyboard or looking through reports, feeling fatigues is almost a certainty. You know you have to finish the work so you just keep at it in the hopes you can get everything done on time. By getting out of the chair and stretching your muscles, you can limber up those tired, cramped muscles and feel refreshed. By reducing the feeling of fatigue, you will be in a better frame of mind to get back to the task. If it’s at all possible, try to do some of your daily tasks at a standing desk. You’ll still be at your workstation, but by standing you can re-align your posture, stretch your back, legs, and neck and generally feel better.
2. Avoid Musculoskeletal Disorders
Sitting hunched over a desk all day will wreak havoc on your spine, your joints, and your muscles. You’re also more likely to feel cramping in your knees and ankles. Over time, these problems will get worse and you’ll find yourself in constant pain. Get up and stretch as often as you can. If your employer does not yet offer standing desks, suggest them at your next staff meeting. Explain how this investment will actually improve productivity, rather than decrease it. Team them up with a standing desk mat and stretch out all the kinks while still doing your work. Your boss will thank you and so will your body.
3. Prevent Muscle Strain Injuries
One of the leading causes of muscle strain injuries or repetitive strain injuries is continuously doing the same thing over and over again. It can also result in further muscle strain injuries when you make any sudden movements. By getting up to stretch every hour or so at work, you will loosen up tight muscles and this will do wonders to prevent RSI and any other muscles related strains.
4. Increase Blood Flow To Your Muscles
Frequent stretching at work is a great way to increase the blood flowing to your muscles. The increased flow of blood delivers precious oxygen to the muscle. This, in turn, means less cramping and pain. The other bonus of improving your circulation is that a lot of this circulation will result in more oxygen feeding your brain.
5. Improve Posture & Flexibility
As important as it is to get the job done, it’s also important to stay healthy. Stretching at work will help to improve your posture and keep you flexible. This is crucial to your health and wellbeing. If you needed another reason to have a standing desk at work, this is it. By standing while you work, you can stretch more often and this will keep you limber and feeling stronger and healthier.
6. Relieve Your Stress
If you find your job is getting you down and you’re feeling somewhat stressed, it may not be the job itself but your muscles responding to inactivity and being hunched over your desk all day. When those muscles tighten up, you feel pain and this results in feeling stressed. By stretching at work, you will loosen up your muscles and feel less pain and tightness. This way, you’re more likely to relieve the stress you thought was related only to the work you are doing.
7. Clear Your Head
Have you ever tried reading a book and find yourself re-reading the same sentence over and over again? This is an indication that it’s time to put the book down and take a break. When you come back to the book, you’ll be comrading what you read with more clarity again. The same applies to work. If you’ve been on the same task for hours and you just can’t move on to the next step, you need to step away from your desk and clear your head. Taking a few minutes to stretch your tired shoulders, neck, and back will do wonders at clearing your head and you’ll be better able to focus on your work again when you sit back down. If you don’t want to look like you’re wasting precious time, go to the kitchen area and get yourself a cup of coffee. You can sneak in a few stretches there and then quietly go back to your desk with a cup in your hand. No one ever questions a worker coming back to their desk with a coffee.
8. No More Tension Headaches
If you’re prone to migraines or other headaches, sitting at your desk for 8 hours is not going to help. If anything, it may even make things worse. By standing up and stretching, or spending part of your workday on an anti-fatigue mat in front of a standing desk, you’ll relieve the tension building up in your neck. This is what usually causes tension headaches. If you aren’t able to spend any part of your day standing, get up every hour, and go to the bathroom or the kitchen for a moment. While you’re moving around the office, stretch as much as you can.
A sedentary lifestyle is not good for anyone so move as much as you can during your workday. You should also stretch every morning when you wake up and before going to sleep at night. Keep your musculoskeletal system limber and you’ll feel better and be more productive at work.