STRETCH EVERY 20-30 MINUTES
FIGURE 1 – REACH FIGURE 1A – SQUEEZE
Stretching every 20-30 minutes combats the effects of excessive sitting. It helps avoid the physiological effects of excessive sitting and the associated spinal memory. To perform the appropriate stretch, stand up and reach toward the ceiling (FIGURE 1). Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. During exhalation, stretch higher toward the ceiling. Next, with your palms pointed up, bring your arms down to the side of your body. Then, pretend you are holding a pencil between your shoulder blades and squeeze them together to prevent the pencil from falling. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. During this exhalation, hold the contraction of your shoulder blades together for 10 seconds (FIGURE 1A). Relax. You have successfully completed the basic stretch needed to combat the effects of prolonged sitting. The entire stretch break will not take more than 30 seconds, yet its benefit will last exponentially longer. Repeat this stretch every 20-30 minutes, or as needed.