woman stretching at workplace

That’s B.S! “Benefits of Stretching” at Work

It’s Monday morning, you have been at the office since 8:00am, it’s now 10:30 and you are trying to finish up a few more things just before that big meeting at 11:00. Your shoulders are hunched over, back is tight and your neck is stiff but you ignore it and keep pushing on. Does this scenario sound familiar? Busy workdays, deadlines and meetings can mean large portions of our workday can fly by without moving away from our desk. Not everyone can get to the gym every day but there are simple ways get those muscles moving and embrace the B.S, “benefits of stretching” for your health.

We have all heard that prolonged sitting is bad for our bodies, but just how bad is it? According to researchers, sitting for prolonged periods is linked to increased risks in obesity, cardiovascular disease and even death. In addition, the time spent sitting at the computer can cause injuries, and in some cases permanent damage to our muscles, tendons and bones. As a result, it can have negative consequences on energy levels and ultimately, our productivity.  The result? Weight gain, more sick days, doctor’s visits and shorter work days due to injuries, pain or discomfort.

So what is the solution? Sit less, move more. Research has shown that computer operators who took short rest periods with stretching exercises significantly improved in productivity and body discomfort. As added bonus, stretching at work is effective in reducing eye strain (when you look away from the computer), burn more calories,  lowering stress levels, and reducing muscle aches and stiffness associated with prolonged hours at the desk. In addition the muscle activity that is needed during standing and stretching help the body to breakdown of fats and sugars within the body, decreasing health risks.  So how can you fit in the time to stretch?  It’s easy, you can start by standing during phone calls or during quick conversations with colleagues. WebMD has outline 12 tips to help incorporate stretches into the workday that will help us to feel better, refreshed and more productive.  Aim to get 2-5 minutes of stretching in per hour, it doesn’t have to be done at once and in fact it is better to split it up into five minute breaks. If it’s difficult to remember to get up, set a reoccurring reminder on your phone or keep well hydrated with water- a sure fire way to make sure you are getting up more often! So what are you waiting for?  Reduce the stress and embrace the B.S!

Happy Stretching!