WFH has its perks for sure— but one of the drawbacks is that we lose the physical activity of the morning commute. It might not seem like much, but even walking a few blocks and taking the subway are important activities that get the blood flowing and prime the body for correct movement patterns.
As many of our patients are moving to a mostly WFH schedule, we wanted to offer up some ideas about how to stay active and healthy. Here are five stretches that you can do in the mornings to prepare your body for healthy posture throughout the day.
1. Standing Shoulder Extension (10 Repetitions)
Begin standing, and reach behind, either interlocking fingers or grasping your wrist with one hand. Elbows may be slightly flexed. Attempt to straighten arms fully as arms elevate upward. Maintain an upright posture without flexing forward. Stretch should be felt in the chest and front of shoulder. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat for prescribed duration and repetitions.
2. Overhead Reach and Side Bend (10 Repetitions)
Begin sitting. Interlock fingers and reach towards the ceiling, extending both arms. Press palms upward, attempting to straighten arms completely. Once arms are fully extended, lean to the side. Hold for 20-30 seconds or for recommended duration. Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets. Alternate sides as directed.
3. Reach Roll Lift (10 Repetitions)
Begin in a kneeling position. Flex the body forward with the right forearm resting on the floor and forehead resting on the forearm. With the left palm flat on the ground, slide it along the floor to an overhead position. Once the arm is fully extended, externally rotate the arm so that the thumb is directed toward the ceiling. From that position, lift the arm slightly off the ground, pause momentarily, return to ground, rotate the arm so the hand is flat on the ground, then slide hand along the ground back to shoulder level. Repeat for a prescribed number of repetitions before switching arms.
4. Kneeling Side Stretch (10 Repetitions)
Begin by positioning yourself in a kneeling position with one foot on the floor. Reach arm that is the same side as rear leg toward ceiling. Slowly reach to the side until a gentle stretch is felt. Repeat for recommended repetitions and sets.
5. Thread the Needle Quadruped Twist (1 Repetition)
Begin on floor in quadruped position (hand and knees). Hands should be placed directly under shoulders with hips above knees. Reach under, and across body, stretching back of shoulder and upper back. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Return to start position. Repeat prescribed repetitions and sets. Alternate sides as directed.
We hope these exercises help you retain better posture while working from home. For more tips on how to stay in shape when you’re hanging around the house, check out our other blog posts here!