The shoulders, neck and back endure stress and tension from prolonged sitting and repetitive movements common in many workplace settings. Below are a few ways to relax the muscles and increase circulation.
- Shoulder Shrugs:
While sitting or standing, lift the shoulders up toward your ears. Hold for 1-2 seconds and roll your shoulders back as you relax down. Repeat for 8-10 reps. This relieves tension in the shoulders, upper back and neck.
- Spinal Twist:
In a seated position with the feet flat on the floor, flex the abs and gently twist the torso towards the right, using your hands to help deepen the stretch. Only twist as far as you comfortably can. Keep your back straight while keeping the hips square. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat in the opposite direction. You should feel this stretch throughout your back, sides and neck.
- Back/Side Stretch:
While standing, lift your arms over your head and interlace your fingers, keeping the elbows straight. Press arms as far back as you can. Slowly lean to the left and then to the right. You should feel the stretch in your back, sides and abs.
- Butterfly Back Stretch:
Lace your fingers together behind your head, bringing your elbows back as far as possible. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 20 seconds. Relax, then repeat. This stretches the muscles of your chest, upper back and neck.
- Chest Stretch:
While standing, clasp your hands behind your back with your palms facing up. Pull your hands down straightening your elbows. Press your shoulder blades together while lifting your hands slightly. Your chest should stick out. Hold for 10-20 seconds. you should feel the stretch in your upper arms, shoulders and chest.