We all know that a sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for us, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always practical for us to spend less time at the office and more time at the gym.
Most of us rely on technology to do our jobs and manage our daily lives – and that doesn’t exactly keep us particularly active.
Anyone who works from home or at an office can attest to the fact that they probably don’t get as much regular exercise as they should.
This is perhaps why statistics for ailments like lower back pain are skyrocketing lately – according to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time(1).
Doing simple stretches can have multiple benefits for your mind and body – yoga is even practised in prison environments as a way of improving inmate health and lowering levels of aggression, reducing the number of fights between inmates(2).
These easy stretches will do wonders for anyone who spends most of their day – sitting in a stationary position – or anyone who has back pain regardless of their level of activity.
1. Supine Lying Hamstring Stretch
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, repeating it with each leg.
2. The Knee to Chest Stretch
Bend your leg at the knee and draw it towards your chest, bracing it with your hands. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds per leg.
3. The Spinal Twist Stretch
Lying on your back, extend your right arm out at a 90-degree angle from your body. Take your right leg and cross it over your left leg, pulling it towards the floor with your left hand. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds per leg or go longer if you’ve done some active stretching at the beginning.
4. The Piriformis Stretch
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before switching leg positions.
5. The Hip Flexors Stretch
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
6. The Quadriceps Lying Down Stretch
Lie on your side with one arm below your head, supporting your neck. Bend your top leg at the knee and pull it back with your free hand. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds on each side – it’s a good idea to do this one twice per side.
7. The Chair Lower Back Stretch
Hold this for 30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite side.
All of these stretches are beginner-level and quick to do, which could help significantly with back pain management (3). Make sure you take deep breaths as you perform these.