We’ve all been there. You finishing typing a sentence and you reach out to pick up your coffee cup. You bring it up toward your lips and see the cup is empty.
You remember you’ve made the same move two other times, so you glance at the clock and realize you’ve been sitting at the keyboard for two and a half hours without moving. That’s when you feel the tightness in your shoulders and back, and you just know your legs are going to scream at you when you stand up.
It is a very familiar scenario for those of us who write for a living — and I’m sure many other office workers, as well.
One way to fight this feeling and do yourself a real favor is to add stretching to your work day. Many exercises you can do right at your desk without anyone in the newsroom noticing.
Here are three great resources to help you get started on feeling better.
1. The Mayo Clinic
When you think of prestigious medical nonprofits, the Mayo Clinic is at the top of the list. It includes eight simple desk stretches on its website, while adding, “Standing or sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on your muscles. To prevent or reduce stiffness and pain, try simple office stretches throughout the day. Perform these stretches several times throughout the day to help keep your muscles from feeling sore and tight.”
WebMD tells you, “… (A)s you sit there at your computer, you are doing one of the worst things you can do to your body — you’re sitting still. And not only that, but the way you sit — and type, and hold the phone — may be wreaking havoc on your bones, joints, and muscles.” And then gives you 12 great stretches.
The Canadian version of OSHA says, “No matter how well a workstation is designed, problems may arise if attention is not paid to the way the work is done. Working at a computer often involves very few changes in body position. This lack of movement can lead to muscle pain and strain.” Don’t miss out on these simple diagrams that will show you how to do your body a favor.