5 tips to incorporate stretching into the work day

I know you're busy!!! We all are....A wise teacher once said if you don't have 20 minutes to meditate, then you need to meditate for an hour.

 In today's workplace, office workers spend an average of 7 hours in front of their computers.  Some companies have employed ergonomic specialists, but employees still have postural responsibility.......Which we can honestly say is difficult to maintain as we pound out hours of work.  

At Chair4Hire whenever we provide onsite chair massages we encourage employees to stretch throughout the workday.  Our team deals with tense, sore, chronically fatigue muscles regularly from computer work.  When muscles become tense and overworked, circulation is compromised, and the affected muscle is deprived of oxygen and nutrients.  Chair massage is highly effective at reversing the affects of overworked muscles and oxygen deprivation.  But let's talk daily maintenance; as most companies only have us onsite weekly at best.  Stretching provides the same affected muscles with oxygen while increasing and/or maintaining the muscle's range of motion. 

1. Pinpoint problem area and head to You Tube

Whether one of Chair4Hire's professional's are able to assess your problem area or you narrow it down to a group of muscles by area, go to you tube.  Our therapists are able to provide stretching techniques specific to the muscles that have been assessed as extremely tense.  But without the expertise of our massage therapist you can go to You Tube and search stretches for neck, or for the low back.  Find at least 3 stretches that you can remember and feel comfortable doing at work.

2. Set an hourly reminder on your computer

The same calendar you use at work to schedule your meetings and important tasks for the day; YES use that one.  You are just as important!!!  Although it may seem like you don't have the time, research shows the brain can't maintain focus for more than 20 minutes at a time.  So there you have it....for 3 periods of focus take 5 minutes out to perform your stretches. Not only will your muscles love you, but your brain will too...........Yes your brain is like a muscle and it gains oxygen too.

3. Be patient with yourself

So now you have the tools and the know how, but be gentle with yourself, we are forming a new habit.  If you miss an hour, pick it back up the next hour, forget a day, pick it back up the next day.  Just remember to set your reminders.  Don't let the reminders annoy you just remind yourself; you are important and your body will perform better.  This will also begin to work on a subconscious level as your brain will begin to look forward to the break that is so wonderful for your overall wellness

4. Be gentle and deliberate

As you begin to incorporate stretching into your workday be gentle with your overworked muscles.  Ease into your stretches with deliberate breathing until you reach the point of resistance.  After reaching the point of resistance, hold the stretch, while completing a couple of cycles of deep breathing and go into the stretch a bit deeper.  As your stretching routine becomes a habit for you, stay deliberate with the breath and gentle with the movement of the muscle.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 and be good to yourself