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Boost Work Productivity: Morning, Evening Stretch Exercises

12 June 2024

Have you ever woken up in the morning stiff and sore from the night before? Or found yourself rubbing your shoulder, lower back, and neck during the day? It is probably because of spending all day at work sitting. Your daily routine may be affecting you more than you think, as studies continue to show that a sedentary lifestyle can significantly affect health and other aspects of your life. Even before the coronavirus pandemic confined people to working from home, most office workers were already glued to their workstations with little to no physical exercise. If you are a culprit to such a routine, there's hope for you yet, as there are several stretch exercises you can do before and after work to boost your productivity. Aside from being more productive than ever, stretch exercises can have other profound effects on you. Here are some:

Better Circulation.

Better Circulation. Sitting all day can affect how well blood flows around your body, and gentle stretches can significantly address this. As you stretch, blood can flow throughout your body to your sore muscles, delivering much-needed oxygen. With improved circulation, your body can eliminate accumulated metabolic waste contributing to fatigue. Your muscles will also receive more nutrients from the blood, improving their health. Lastly, improved blood circulation can also impact your brain as you feel more stimulated, enabling you to think and brainstorm with others more effectively.

Improved Mobility and reduced stiffness.

Improved Mobility and reduced stiffness. Stretching can also aid in improving your ability to move around correctly. Remaining seated all day at your desk can result in stiffness to your muscles because when they remain static for long periods, they tend to shorten. It can leave them stiff and sore, consequently seeing you unable to perform specific physical tasks effectively. Stretch exercises have the effect of improved mobility as your muscles will require exertion to facilitate body movement. They help you feel more flexible by causing muscle lengthening and reducing stiffness.

Better posture and reduced injuries.

Better posture and reduced injuries. You suffer from poor posture and the resulting injuries when you sit at your desk without exercise before or after. As mentioned before, remaining static causes your muscles to contract to cause stiffness, and injuries may develop when you exert these muscles too much. They include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and back, shoulder, and neck pain. You may even be forced to operate in poor posture at work resulting in some parts of your body, such as joints and ligaments, being misaligned. Stretching will help you remain active and prevent long-term posture issues and severe injury to your musculoskeletal system.

Better mental health and declined stress.

Better mental health and declined stress. Sitting or working all day can leave you feeling drained as you continuously exert your body and mind. As such, it is common to find yourself feeling drained and even stressed at the end of the day, potentially ruining your mood. Stretch exercises stimulate the parasympathetic system, meaning they can help immensely promote a calm and relaxed feeling. If you constantly feel in a bad mood throughout your workdays, you may be in dire need of some exercise. Stretching a little before and after work may give you the ability to fight stress and improve your mood.

Having seen the benefits, you should consider adding a little bit of exercise into your daily routine if you want your productivity to get a bump. Stretch exercises, in particular, are one surefire way of replacing your sedentary lifestyle with one that includes physical exertion. However, it is easy to cause even more harm to your body during your workout sessions by doing the exercises wrongly. The following will guide you through performing stretches to ensure that you are safe from the often painful consequences of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.

Stretch exercise to remain productive

hamstring stretches

In the morning, do:

The trapezius stretches

Found in your lower neck, the trapezius extends along the shoulder regions and upper back. Doing this stretch routine will aid in resetting your shoulders after a long day's work reducing pain and helping you relax. It is also helpful in stabilizing your shoulder blade to relieve pain in the upper back and the neck while improving your posture. So, to safely perform it begin by placing your right arm on your chest with your right hand on the left shoulder. Then put your left hand under your elbow, glide your right hand across the opposite shoulder, and move down the back. You should remain in this position for about two seconds and then return to your original relaxed posture. It is then repeated on each side about ten times.

The hamstring stretches

The routine is designed to exert the hamstring, among the most commonly injured parts in your lower body. It can relieve pressure off your knees and lower back, aiding with hip mobility and reducing pain in your hip, lower back, and even knees. It is a great stretch to help with stress and tension in the lower half of your body. It is performed by first lying down on the floor while having one of your feet strapped. Then, lift the strapped leg, ensuring it is straight, and stretch by pulling the strap to your chest. Your leg should move away from your chest while pulling; do this on each leg for six minutes and relax.

The side stretch while cross-legged

The routine is made to help your sides specifically and is primarily felt in your lower back and, of course, your hips. If your job includes sitting all day with a bit of walking, it is the perfect stretch to ensure you have hip Mobility throughout the day for better productivity. The side stretch helps the muscles in your lower back to extend better and prevent pain in your hips. Start by sitting down with extended legs and across each other. Then while using your hip as the hinge, lean forward with your arms. After this, reach out to your left side and stay there for 20 seconds while gently breathing and repeat the same on your right side. With the side stretch routine, you will notice a significant improvement in the state of your hips and lower back throughout the day.

butterfly stretch

In the evening, however, do:

The baby's pose

If your job involves being glued at your desk typing all day, the muscles in your chest and lower back have probably shortened, which could cramp your lower back as the body attempts to compensate. The routine is terrific at restoring the muscles' length by stretching them so that you don't have the effects of a hunch and pain in your lower back. First, begin on all fours, then move back towards the heels as you move your hands toward the front as far as possible with the palms on the floor. You can increase depth in the stretch by dropping your head between your arms and holding the position for about 45 seconds. The baby's pose will dramatically improve the state of your chest and shoulder muscles, removing the pain you develop from leaning over a keyboard all day. It will ensure productivity doesn't decline as you return home to enjoy your evening.

The butterfly stretch

Another excellent exercise for the evenings to ensure that accumulated stress from the day's work doesn't bog you down at night, the butterfly stretch opens up your lower back while also helping the hips. When you sit down for long hours during the day, you should consider it to address the effects of wrong postures, such as muscle injury. You begin by sitting on the floor and putting your feet's soles next to each other at your front. Let your knees drop as far as possible and ensure your shoulders are relaxed while your chest is lifted. Remain like this for about 30 seconds and then return to normal. To stretch further, lunge your chest forward, hold the position for the same duration, and then relax. Despite seeming simple, its improvements to your hip mobility will be dramatic and lower pain will reduce for better health after sitting all day.

The shoulder opener

You should do this in the evening if your days involve a lot of sitting and night complaints of stiffness in the shoulders. The shoulder opener is a fantastic stretch that will relieve a lot of the tension that builds up in the shoulders after a long day of physical exertion that sees your shoulders pulled inside. You should begin by placing your feet apart as far as the hip allows and then grasping an elastic band or towel behind your back. Then lift your arms behind your back and go as high as you can tolerate without being uncomfortable. Afterward, bring your shoulders together while raising your arms and hold the position for about 20 seconds. Repeat the routine about four more times while ensuring to look out for any signs of discomfort for safety.

Well then, these are the best stretch exercises to do in the morning and evening to ensure you are your most productive self before and after work. They will ensure that any accumulated muscle tension and stress are released for less pain and fewer injuries. However, if you are no morning person, or maybe your evening schedule is too rigid for a good workout, FlexiSpot has you covered with the Sit2Go under-desk bike. It is an ergonomic-oriented product that puts together a comfortable chair with a bike that will let you work out while working.