Sitting Pretty

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

77. Desk exercises and stretches

This is something I’ve actually looked into recently, due to my “promotion” to a desk job. It’s a great job, and I love that I’m in out of the cold now, but sitting at a desk for almost 12 hours a day, 14 days straight, can really wear on a body. Writers know this pain as well, and with that in mind, here are a few good stretches I’ve found that I like:

Shoulder Shrug
Just like it sounds, shrug your shoulders. Sit up straight while you’re doing it, shrug your shoulders up as though you’re trying to touch them to your ears, and then release and let them fall as far as they’ll go. Repeat 10-20 times at once several times throughout the day.

Wrist/Arm Circles
When using a computer or doing a lot of writing, it’s good (and feels nice) to stop every now and then and do some wrist circles. Literally just lift your hands and turn them in circles, stretching out your wrists. In addition to this, it helps your back and shoulders if you stretch your arms out to the side and move them in slow circles, both forward and backward.

Toe Touches
If plausible, it’s an excellent stretch to simply stand up, bend over, and try to touch your toes. If you can’t reach your toes, just stretch forward as far as you can comfortably go, and if touching your toes is too easy, continue to stretch forward as long as you still feel comfortable. It’s an excellent stretch for your legs and back.

Leg Hug
You can do this from a chair, possibly, but it’s much easier on the floor if that’s an option. Basically, lift your knees to your chest, wrap your arms around them, tuck your head down, and hug yourself. It stretches out the back and legs, and also gives a little stretch to your arms as well.

Go for a Walk
Seems obvious, but if you’re going to be spending extended periods of time at a desk, it’s a good idea to take a little walk every now and then. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme…when I’m at work and I start to cramp up I just get up and walk to the lunch room, grab a drink, and walk back. It gets the blood flowing and the limbs limbered up.

Anyone else have any good desk stretches or ways to keep your body working while dealing with extended periods of sitting? Please share!


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