If your butt is dangerously close to becoming fused to your chair, it’s time for some lunch break stretches.
In our latest edition of Good Stretch, Chloe de Winter of Go Chlo Pilates will lead you in seven minutes of spine-lengthening, hip-and-shoulder-opening moves all designed to break up your workday.
Working at a desk for hours on end can degrade your posture, cause neck, shoulder, and lower back pain, and even contribute to stress. And with many people continuing to work from home, we may be moving around for meetings and coffee breaks even less than we used to. But taking a break to loosen up those muscles can combat the trappings of desk work, so it’s a good idea to make stretching a regular part of your routine.
Plus, when you’ve been hunched over a keyboard, stretching also just feels really darn good.
First, de Winter will get you standing up out of your chair to help un-crunch that spine. Sitting puts pressure on our spinal discs, which slouching can exacerbate, so stretching can help add some space back in.
The next targets are those tight, constricted hips. Your hips are responsible for bearing the load of your upper body, and are surrounded by major nerves. All of that can get crunched and your hip flexors can literally shorten after spending hours on your bottom. Taking time to open them up and get the blood flowing again can keep your hips happy, and be the antidote to “dead butt syndrome.”
Finally, de Winter focuses on the all-important shoulders—major casualties of our screen-focused world. Our shoulders get impacted in multiple ways from desk work. If you’re stressed, you might hike them up. Sitting for long periods of time also makes it tempting to let go of good posture, letting your shoulders to roll forward, and shortening those muscles. The whole shoulder-neck-back zone can be a tense mess. That’s what makes the last part of this video truly delectable: If your shoulders are anything like ours, the stretches will show you just how badly your shoulders wanted to move and rotate rather than staying slunked over.
Whew, we needed that!
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