The benefits of sitting at a desk all day are hard to argue with, especially if you work in an office environment. However, one of the hidden dangers of spending so much time sitting is that it can make your back ache when you stand up and start moving around again. If this sounds like your experience, use these stretches to ease back pain from sitting all day, as recommended by a physical therapist Baltimore, MD from our friends at LeMoine Physical Therapy.
Standing Hip Stretch
To do the standing hip stretch, stand tall with your feet together and weight distributed evenly on both feet. When you bend over to touch your toes, keep your back straight and lean forward at the hips. For a more challenging stretch, shift the weight onto one leg while bending over and try to get it as close to the ground as possible. Switch legs and repeat.
There are two ways to approach this stretch. The first is in a standing position. Stand with both feet together. Bring both hands behind your back, at the small of your back. Press your palms gently into this area. Breathe in and apply a slight pressure as you title your head back and push your chest forward. Next, bring your hands behind your head with your elbows forward, exhale, and round out your back.
The second way to do this is on the floor. Get down on your knees, placed directly below your hips and with your hands flat on the floor, directly below your shoulders. Breathe in and arch your back, pushing your stomach towards the floor and your tailbone towards the ceiling. Hold this for a few seconds, then exhale an round your back, bringing your stomach towards the ceiling and your tailbone towards the floor. Repeat as necessary with your breathing.
Lying Spinal Twist
Lying on your back, bring both knees to your chest and cross the left leg over the righ. Bring your right arm under the left and place it on the outside of your left knee while grabbing onto it. Gently pull that knee towards you as you look up to gaze at the ceiling. The rotation of your spineshould be felt in a twisting motion up your spine. Switch sides to stretch the other for better results.
Seated Side Bend
This is another stretch you can approach in two ways: on the floor or in a chair. On the floor, put your legs out either straight in front of you, or for a more intense stretch, put them in a v-shape, as much as you are comfortable. Sit up straight, bringing both arms above your head, stretched straight towards the ceiling. Take your left hand and lean to the right. Put your right hand down, flat on the floor for support. Hold this for a few seconds, then switch sides.
You can also do this in your chair. Sit up straight, on the edge of your chair so that your knees are at a forty-five degree angle with your feet flat on the floor, directly under your knees. With your right hand, grab the right arm rest, bring your left hand over your head, and lean with it to the right side. Hold this for a few seconds, then switch sides.
These are just a few exercises that can help you ease back pain you might experience sitting at a desk all day, but if you continually experience pain, contact a physical therapist today!