Remote work has its advantages: Wearing your comfy clothes. Snacking at-will. Saving on gas money. Listening to gangsta rap at loud volumes without uptight-Sarah asking you to turn it down.
Remote work has its disadvantages: Isolation. Sloppiness. Fat-assness.
Let’s focus on the fat-assness part. Pre-pandemic, office workers frequently took breaks “for their health”. For some, there’s no one to get away from. So, the walking or taking the stairs, or standing to stretch has gone away. And that’s not good.
Here are some ways to de-stress at your desk—no matter where your desk is nowadays, courtesy of elite athlete and stuff-knower, Dr. Haley Perlus.
1. Neck and Shoulder Stretches
Roll your chair away from your desk. Starting with your head facing forward, using your hand, gently stretch your head and neck to the left and right
Practice this simple de-stressing technique: take a deep breath and shrug your shoulders as high as you can, and gently lower them, while breathing out deeply.
Crack Wisedom: Don’t imagine snapping the neck of that annoying co-worker you have to see on your Zooms. We don’t want you snapping your own neck. Theirs, yes.
2. Hand and Forearm Stretches
Continuous typing can lead to stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Help reduce the chances of an injury by giving your hands and fingers a break.
Roll back from your desk and allow your hands to fall to your sides. Roll your wrists in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. Shake them out to relieve any tension
Stretch your forearms by flexing your palms towards your arms, gently increasing the stretch with your other hand. Then extend your palm away from your arm, using your other hand to stretch the top of your hand towards your forearm. You should feel a stretch throughout the underside of your arm.
Crack Wisedom: Think of how good your solo time will be with relaxed wrists and forearms!
3. Back Stretches
Sitting for long periods at a time is unnatural and can create pressure, especially in the lower back region. Haley recommends standing and walking as often as possible
When standing, do a simple back stretch by bending at the waist and letting your arms lower towards the ground. Try to release all tension in your back and slowly “roll up,” one vertebra at a time
If you don’t have a back injury, work on improving your range of motion by doing gentle torso twists, and rotating your trunk several times to help “loosen up.”
Crack Wisedom: The one time where it’s acceptable to be loose. Wink, wink.
4. Leg Stretches
Sitting for long periods of time also cause blood to pool in your lower legs. Haley says getting moving, even walking around the block, can help improve circulation and “wake up” tired legs
Simple leg stretches such as calf raises, quad stretches, and hamstring stretches can all be done in the comfort of your cubicle or desk area
If you feel yourself getting drowsy at your desk, a neat trick you can try are leg lifts: from a sitting position, raise your foot 3-4 inches off the ground and hold it. You will start to feel a burn – keep going until your muscle gives out, repeat on the other side.
Crack Wisedom: A bad burn is having too many jalapeños on your tacos…
The cracked Crack Wise Staff-- warriors of the Funformation Movement.