Got a desk job? You must stretch regularly!

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If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, chances are high that you have muscular imbalances. Such imbalances occur when certain muscles are overused and other related muscles are underused. Excessive sitting leads to overuse of muscles like hips, legs and front shoulders. While it leads to the underuse of glutes, abdomen and back, resulting in the below mentioned muscular imbalances.

 

Affected muscles

When a muscle is overused there is more tension in it. And because of this tension, the muscle becomes tight. And finally, because of the tightness, the muscle starts to shorten.

 

Short hips

When you are sitting for long periods of time, your hips tend to become tighter, leading to what is medically called an Anterior Pelvic Tilt. The image below demonstrates this condition. The pelvis tilts forward because of the tight hip muscles. If you are someone who sits for long periods, then you are likely to have this imbalance.

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Raised, rounded shoulders and Forward head posture

Another area of concern for desk workers is the shoulder muscles. Working on a computer requires you to have your hands held forward and inward, like it is demonstrated in the below image. This leads to a condition called rounded shoulders where shoulders tend to round inwards. Also, the head tends to move forward because of the rounded shoulders and results in a postural imbalance referred to as excessive lordosis of the neck.

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Stretching loosens the tight muscles

So, the idea is to loosen up these tight muscles and stretching helps you to do this. The below video talks about three basic stretches that will help you to avoid/fix the above-mentioned problems. They are so simple that you can perform these stretches right at your desk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obe82Cc3uvk

 

Conclusion

Muscles get tight when put under tension for long periods of time. So, make sure you don’t attain a particular posture for long periods. Take frequent stretching breaks in between work. Something like a 5-minute break after every 60 minutes is a good idea.

Prevention is better than cure. So, if you are careful enough with your working habits, you wouldn’t have to worry in the long run.

 

Sources:

http://posturedirect.com/fix-anterior-pelvic-tilt/
http://www.washingtonarthritisrheumors.com/what-does-posture-have-to-do-with-arthritis/

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