Whether you are sitting at a desk, chair, in a car, or wherever you may be sitting for extended amounts of time, everyone will know the feeling of being stiff after sitting for a long time. Usually you will notice it in your lower back first when you sit for a while, but you can start to also feel it in your knees when you get up for the first time in what could be hours. If you routinely sit, like most of the American population does and a lot of the worlds population does as well, you can start to see other parts of your body start to get stiff and sore, ranging from your neck to your shoulders to your hips. These things down the line can lead to arthritis and some other medical conditions if done routinely for a prolonged period of time as well.
Now there can be a easy way to help prevent things like stiffness from setting in, and its a really simple thing. Stand up and stretch. It may seem very obvious that this is a solution to the problem, but most people don’t know when they should get up, and other just don’t know how to properly stretch or what to stretch.
So without further ado, here is how I stay loose while I am sitting for long periods of time!
So for this I recommend doing this at least once every 1-2 hours of sitting. I like to start out stretching at the head and moving down the body.
To start I like to stretch my neck by moving it in all four directions as such:
While doing these hold each direction for at least 10 seconds before moving on the the next direction.
After the neck I like to stretch the upper body in two separate ways, first with crossing arms as such:
The other stretch being to raise your arms above your head and hold as such:
For both of these stretches, holding them for about 15-20 seconds would be the most optimal time for doing these at a time, and they can be done a couple of times in a row if wanted.
Side note: If you are typing at a computer for long periods of time as well, try to stretch your hands as well as to try and prevent arthritis/carpal tunnel in your hands.
Next up on to your lower body! To start your lower body I like to go with toe touches as such:
When doing these, do not fall straight down to your toes. Instead if you can count out 10 seconds on the way down to as far as you can reach, and then slowly count 10 seconds on the way back up. This is probably my favorite stretch to do as well because it reaches the most muscles out of all of them, ranging from your lower back to your hamstrings.
To finish out these stretches I like to finish with stretching the front of your thighs with quad stretches as such:
Holding these for each leg for about 15-20 seconds as well would be most optimal, if you need to hold on to something while performing this stretch that is alright, but if you want to work on you balance don’t be afraid to balance on your other leg that you aren’t stretching at the time.
So hopefully this was an informative short blog post for you! Reminder to try and perform these at least once every 1-2 hours of sitting. It only takes about 3 minutes or less to perform all of these, so taking that short amount of time to help prevent stiffness and soreness is not all that much time!