We bet you all know that human evolution chart we were shown in a biology class. We start as apes, grow taller and taller and then end up…hunched behind a computer? Hmm, is something wrong with this picture or is it just us?
With all innovations, new technology and communication methods moving forward with the speed of light, there is something that is not moving much these days. And that would be all of the ambitious people pushing extra office hours behind laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Did you ever wonder why there is that annoying aching in your neck you can’t get rid of? Or a painful twinge in your lower back?
Because we wanted to know how to get rid of these unpleasant sensations in our body, we decided to pay a visit to Matej Bunderla a personal trainer from Millenium gym, to get some advice on the subject. It seems like spine and back problems are even more common than we thought and a lot of people struggle with keeping their body in balance.
When you sit and slouch, your spine curves like a macaroni noodle, your neck bends in an unnatural angle and your muscles begin to stiff and shorten.
Parts of the body that get most affected by this “modern posture” are:
- Back thigh muscles
- Iliopsoas muscle
- Chest muscles
- Abdominal muscles
- Lower back muscles
- Upper back muscles
They all need to be stretched and toned, so the spine remains strong and neck straight. It doesn’t take much, but because of our busy lifestyles we tend to skip it, even though we don’t require any special equipment. We should stretch throughout the day, reminding ourselves every hour to stand up, straighten our spine, correct our posture and get back to our tasks. Take 1 or 2 breaks for the short stretching sessions we prepared for you. We promise they take less than 10 min.
All the stretching exercises demonstrated below can be done on a chair, by the wall and occasionally on the floor of your office (just make sure it’s clean and you have a yoga mat stored somewhere near.).
Stretch your palms and fingers that are stiff from holding a mouse and typing on various keyboards. First stretch your left hand in front of you, like signaling a “stop sign”, then pull it back with your right hand. Repeat on the other hand.Keep your hands stretched in front of you and now turn your left palm downwards and pull it towards your chest with your right arm. This will stretch the upper part. Repeat on the other hand.
Interlace your fingers and bring them overhead. Lean to the right and left while keeping your chest facing forward.
Pull your head towards your left and right shoulder stretching the neck muscles. Do not push your head down to your chest in the middle, because this is the posture you are constantly using while on the computer.
Step to the edge of wall and press your left arm into it, with elbow forming a 90 degree angle. Place your right arm on your chest and twist your body to the right. Repeat with the right arm on the wall.
To stretch your leg muscles use your office chair and put your foot on the edge of the seat. Bend down with your back straight until you feel a comfortable stretch along your thighs. Repeat with the other leg.
Keeping your chair in place, turn around and raise one of your legs up to the seat, sinking into a lunge. If the chair has wheels, you can use it to slide a bit back into the posture, but be careful not to fall over and keep your front leg stable. You can always do a lunge placing both feet on the floor or using straps in the gym.
Another good exercise is to sit on your chair, pull one of your ankles on the knee, and use the leg to pull your torso downward. Repeat with the other leg as well.
Get your yoga mat out and place it by your table. Get on your knees and do a cat pose. Straighten your back and look up on the inhale, then curve your back and tuck your chin on the exhale
Lay down on the mat and bring your palms to your shoulders. Push up and raise your chest. After relaxing 30 seconds bring your body back on the feet and extend the arms in front of you.