If you find yourself uncomfortably stretching your back at the end of a long day sat at your desk, then you're not alone. A study published in 2014 said that back pain was the leading cause of disability, triggered by sitting or standing in a bad position or even lifting something incorrectly. But sitting for a long period of time is also a major contributing factor in people being overweight and obese, and even type 2 diabetes. That's not to say you're about to pile on the pounds just because you do an office job, but the truth is, because we're not moving as much, we find that the pounds do add up, as it slows down your metabolism.
So what's the solution? A panel of leading experts, chaired by professor Stuart Biddle, recommends that you take "an active break from sitting every 30 minutes." Great advice, we're sure you'll agree, but what if, as is the case with so many of our lives these days, you just can't spare that time when you're frantic at work? Stretching, and in particular, back stretches could be just the answer. Not only will it help with back pain and help you lose calories (up to 150 calories in 30 minutes), you can also feel re-energised for that afternoon slump. To help, we've turned to YouTube to find some key and highly rated stretching videos to give you tips on how to do stretching at your desk.
Keep scrolling to see our pick of the best back stretches on YouTube.
Why you should try this: If you find yourself slumping around 3 p.m., then this one is for you. Not only will it help stretch your whole upper body, it will also open up your chest to help you breathe more deeply.
Be the Change Yoga
Why you should try this: One of the biggest problems for many an office worker is a stiff neck and shoulders. This will help to stretch out those parts and improve your posture.
Love Sweat Fitness
Why you should try this: Okay, so you might not be able to do this at your desk, but you can still do it in your office. Just make sure your colleagues and boss are okay with it, and don't forget to bring in a yoga mat!
Why you should try this: Again, this one is not an exercise you can do while sitting on your chair. But if you're suffering from back pain, it's vital that you do exercises to keep it from getting stiff. Speak to your doctor if the pain continues, and ask to see a specialist such as a chiropractor or an osteopath.
Why you should try this: If you're struggling to find time to work out before or after work, why not try this 18-minute total body chair stretch routine? Another way to burn calories while at work is to invest in a standing desk.
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