Efficiency Tip of the Month-July: Office Stretches to Boost Efficiency

I know, who has time to stretch in the middle of the work day when it feel like we barely have time to get everything done. It seems like it’s a Catch-22, but it’s not – stretching boosts efficiency (if done correctly). If you’re sitting 40+ hours per week, that’s definitely not good for your health.

Some of us are lucky enough to have a standing desk or take a daily walk on our lunch break, but even so, we should be stretching. We sit in our cars, we sit to watch TV or read a book, we sit too much! Stretching increases blood flow and helps maximize brain activity.

 

Okay, okay, you don’t have to stretch like THAT, but you should still stretch to decrease strain in your cervical spine, neck and shoulders. Here are a few tips and how-to’s to help you stretch during your 9 to 5. 

  1. Hunching is a bad habit many of us desk-sitters have. So, we should stand with our legs shoulder-width apart, reach your arms behind you, interlocking your fingers and lifting your arms. This should stretch your chest and shoulders. 
  2. This stretch is easier done in the office than your traditional downward dog; remain seated, extend your legs and reach towards your toes to stretch the back of your legs. 
  3. This one is easy enough and we can do it while still sitting if you’re just too busy to stand up. Simply raise your arms over years head, interlock your fingers and push away. This is a simple stretch that we can do whenever we’re stressed or need a minute to breathe. 
  4. The wrist stretch is for all of the “typers” out there; and there are a lot. Stand up and place your wrists on the desk facing away from you. Apply a bit of pressure until you feel a stretch. This will help with circulation if you’re working on that report that’s due in two hours. Follow this stretch with wrist circles, you’ll feel the difference! 
  5. Last, but not least – we all love a good stress ball! Use your stress ball to improve movability in your hands and forearms. This one is great because you can stretch and de-stress at the same time. 

Even when our work is fulfilling, we can’t forget about ourselves and our health. Take a few minutes a day to yourself to stretch, or better yet, get others to join you! In a “past life” I worked at a corporation that encouraged stretch breaks every day. There is strong research to show that it helps prevent carpal tunnel and other typical work-related injuries.