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Stretching Exercises – How to stand at your desk: 4 of 5

The fourth part of our ‘how to stand’ series. Why think about how to stand? Because if you are working at standing desk, you can do some damage by maintaining poor posture, perhaps even more damage than if you were in a sedentary position all day.

The fourth of five tips looks at how to stretch without having to take a break or become a yoga master.

Tip 4 of 5: Effecting stretching

When it comes to stretching whilst working, we likely have 2 key questions:

  1. How long do I have to stretch for?
  2. How stupid will I look?

Looking at various studies, it seems that more stupid you look, and the longer it takes, the better the results. That said, we all have lives to lead, so which stretch gives you the most bang for your buck? Enter a team of 8 Japanese researchers. They were researching the best exercises for care workers in Japan, though there is a significant amount of cross over for any sector that involves a lot of standing.

They determined that one of the stretches (the fourth exercise) developed by Robin McKenziewould be effective to improve or prevent lower back pain”. They gave it the name: “One Stretch”.

How to do the “One Stretch”

  1. Stand at your desk (starts off nice and easy, right?)
  2. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart
  3. Put both of your palms on your lower back, fingers pointing to the floor
  4. Take a big breath
  5. Slowly lean back as you exhale, so you are looking at the ceiling
  6. Keep your legs straight
  7. After 3 seconds return to your normal standing position
  8. Repeat for as long as you have got.

You can view some pictures of how to do the stretch here, and also look at some other McKenzie stretches, though be warned, some are probably NSFW (not suitable for work!).

Click here if you missed part 3 (Avoiding tech neck), and keep posted for part 5: Training and endurance!