If you’re like many people, you probably spend much of your day sitting at a desk. Prolonged time in poor posture, or a sedentary lifestyle such as at the office, can potentially cause serious pain and discomfort. The physical stress put on your body by excessive sitting can cause major disruptions to your quality of life. It can contribute to a deterioration of your spine as well as increasing the risk of chronic disease, in addition to contributing to mental stress.

Prolonged sitting puts unnatural pressure on the discs and muscles in your neck and back. For example, it constricts the blood flow to your buttocks, which help support your spine. In addition, we are naturally inclined to slouch, which puts stress on your spinal discs and ligaments. Long bouts of work lead to daily erosion of the muscles and material which support the spine, possibly leading to serious problems later in life.

Daily stretches make a difference

But fear not! Here at Emerald clinic, we offer positive solutions to the physical dangers of excess sitting. We know that you are a hard worker, and we want to support you in your journey to a healthier back, spine, and body!

     The key is stretching. Stretching is one of the basic steps to achieving the body you want. It reduces muscle tension, thus supporting the spine; improves mobility and range of movement; and alleviates the possibility of chronic disease and disability. Stretching can be a deeply satisfying feeling which leaves you craving more. Of course, it is necessary to communicate with a medical professional to ensure that you don’t injure yourself through an improper form. 

   

For the back, there are a variety of stretches one can practice, including towel hamstring stretches, back flexion stretches, and kneeling stretches.

Back Flexion Stretch

Lie on your back. Pull your knees up towards your chest, while bringing your head forward. You will feel a nice stretch across the lower and middle back.

Knee to Chest Stretch

While on your back, bend your knees and keep your heels grounded. Put your hands behind a knee and bring the knee to your chest. This will stretch out your piriformis and gluteus muscles.

Kneeling Lunge Stretch

While on your knees, bring a leg forward, and put your foot flat. Make sure that you keep your weight balanced throughout your hips, not leaning to one or another side. Now gripping the top of a thigh, lean forward and stretch out the front of the other leg. This will stimulate the hip flexors and also may affect your pelvis area.

Piriformis Muscle Stretch

With your knees bent, put your heels on the ground. Cross your legs and put the ankle of your crossed leg on the bent knee. Bring the bottom knee towards the chest, and stretch out the buttock area.

For the neck, you can practice levator scapula stretches, chin-to-chest flexion stretches, and ear-to-shoulder lateral flexion stretches.

Flexion Stretch – Chin to Chest

Bring the head forward. Bring the chin to the chest. This will stretch the back of your neck.

Lateral Flexion Stretch

Bend the neck to a side while keeping your gaze straight. Keep your shoulders loose and slightly back. Gently stretch the side of your neck.

Levator Scapula Stretch – Holding Chair and Top of Head

Sit on a chair and tilt your head to one side. Then rotate to the side and tip downward as in looking at your opposite pocket. Use your other hand and apply stretch by gently pulling.

Corner Stretch

Stand in front of a room corner. Put your forearms on the wall, with your elbows at shoulder height. Lean forward. You will feel a stretch underneath the collarbone.

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Overwhelmed?

Don’t worry. We here to help! Our clinic is dedicated to helping you become a stronger, healthier, and happier you. We are committed to helping you develop the best strategy for you to offset the potential dangers of a sedentary work-life. You work hard; you deserve to have a well-oiled, flexible body. Please contact us 416.546.7246 to book an appointment. We look forward to working with you.

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