Looking for quick relief from the tension built up after a day at the office? Try these four stretches from Bob Anderson, author of Stretching in the Office (Shelter, 2002). “For some people, [stretching] might help them get more active or maintain an appreciation for their bodies,” Anderson says. “For others, if you don’t counteract the things that happen to your body from long periods of sitting, you might pay for it later.” In addition to limbering up, be sure to hydrate during the day and take time to put your feet up before bedtime to help improve circulation in your legs.
Lengthen your calf muscles, which Anderson says are integral in pumping the blood from your feet. Face a wall and place one foot behind the other, keeping the back leg straight and the front leg bent. Lean into the wall and move your hips forward until you feel the stretch in the calf muscles of your back leg.
Do a groin stretch to release legs that have been crossed or immobile all day. Lie on your back, bend your knees outward, and hold the soles of your feet together. Try placing a pillow under your head and letting gravity gently pull your knees closer to the floor.
Open your chest after hunching over a keyboard for long periods by lying on your back with bent knees and putting your hands beneath your head. Pull your shoulder blades together to create tension in the upper back, then release and pull your head up with your hands to stretch the neck.
Release shoulder tension by lying on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Keep one arm by your side, palm down, and stretch one arm above your head, palm up. Reach in opposite directions and hold for ten seconds before repeating with the other side.