The Power of Stretching – Combatting Poor Posture When Working at Home
For many of us, Covid-19 has meant working from home and creating a new ‘office space’ within the house. This could mean your dining room table and chairs now double as a desk space and that your posture is dealing with the impact of this.
Most of us will know the immediate effects of sitting or standing in poor positions, feeling the pinch in our lower backs, the knots between our shoulder blades and in our necks, along with the headaches that can accompany this tension, but the effects go far past these and can have significant effects on our long-term health.
Alongside long-term back problems, such as curvature, a misaligned spine and even perhaps pinched nerves, poor posture can have surprising effects on our overall health. From interrupted sleep and negative impacts on motivation and mood, to circulation issues, digestive ailments and even restricted lung capacity, all of which can have their own knock-on effects on our wellbeing.
As well as correcting our posture throughout the day and ensuring our desk and chairs are set up to support us properly, we can utilise stretching to alleviate some of the initial symptoms poor posture can bring on and help us enhance the support our body gives itself.
We spoke to BodyHoliday’s Resident Yogi Kestin Greco on the benefits of stretching and how it can help combat the effects of poor posture:
1. It alleviates tension
When we are sat in an unsupported position for an extended amount of time, it puts stress on our bodies and we can begin to feel this tension throughout our necks and backs. By stretching out our muscles, we can release this tension and alleviate the pain that comes with it.
2. Stretching helps strengthen your muscles and core
When practised regularly, stretching can help strengthen your muscles, keeping them flexible and strong. By focusing your efforts on the muscles in your core and back, you increase the body’s ability to support itself, as well as improve your natural posture.
3. It can boost your mood and circulation
Alongside tension and pain, poor posture can have a negative effect on our moods. As a form of exercise, stretching releases endorphins and increases the blood flow around our body, helping to clear our minds and put us in a more positive mindset.
4. Stretching can enhance sleep
Interrupted sleep can be a common side effect of bad posture, as we twist and turn to find a position our muscles are comfortable in. Taking part in some gentle stretching just before bed helps loosen those muscles and calm the mind, helping you drift off into slumber more peacefully.
5. It can increase your energy levels
As well as enhancing circulation, stretching can boost the body’s flow of nutrients, helping to give you an increase in energy levels. When combining this with the enhanced mood and sleep benefits, you’ll find a simple daily stretching session can help combat fatigue.
Watch here as Kestin brings one of her wonderful stretch classes to you at home, helping you reap the benefits of this exercise.