Just as running an eight-hour marathon can be strenuous on the body, so too can an eight-hour sitting session.

Knuckling down and ‘getting in the zone’ may be great for a productive work day, but the impacts of sitting still can be detrimental to your health. Prevention is always better than a cure too, which is why stretching at work is so important for your health.

Getting into a stretching routine at work helps increase your productivity levels too, and you’ll be more focused, less stressed, and more energetic when you return to the desk to tackle the next email-marathon.

You don’t need a lot of space or fancy equipment either; simply standing up and moving around for three minutes every hour, can help to reduce fatigue, benefit your posture, regulate blood flow and increase circulation.

You can also try these simple stretches at work to maintain healthy habits…

The cow and cat pose

This is probably one best saved for a private area of the office, but it’s definitely worth scouting out that sweet spot.

It’s been a popular yoga pose for hundreds of years, and there’s a good reason why; it helps to align your spine, improve skeletal extension, and increase muscular flexibility in your back.

The wrist stretch

It’s easy to sink into an hour’s worth of emails and move only your fingers, and it mightn’t feel like you’ve moved your body much, but your fingers have typed for miles.

It’s important to stretch out your wrists and hands to prevent Repetitive Strain Disorder too.

This stretch can be done anywhere with a desk; stand up, place your hands flat on the desk in front of you with your fingers facing your body, and gently lean into the stretch.

When you can feel the pull up your arms, ease off, and repeat.

The leg stretch

There’s nothing fancy about this one and it’s exactly as its name suggests; a good ole fashioned leg stretch.

Stand up, slowly bend over, and touch your toes, or as far down your legs as you can. Slowly return to a stand, then repeat. When you’re sitting still for long periods of time, the circulation to your legs and feet dramatically slows down, increases the chances of Deep Vein Thrombosis, and Restless Leg Syndrome, both of which are preventable with regular movement.

You can also try a lunch time yoga session to stretch your entire body out, and you can do that our Hawthorn office.

Stepping away from your desk for a yoga session or a stretch session may seem counter-productive at first when you have a long-list of to-do’s, but when your body is aligned and your blood is flowing, you’re more productive and more focussed – which is when the best work happens.

Author Tobi Skovron

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