HEALTHY COMPUTING EMAIL TIP 565: DECOMPRESS
At the end of the day do you feel a little shorter? Does your back feel a little stiff from sitting at the computer for hours on end? People generally tend to shrink throughout the years, which can contribute to back discomfort. Take a moment in the day to feel a little taller when you DECOMPRESS.
HOW TO DECOMPRESS:
Note: this exercise involves bending while sitting. If your chair easily rolls, move to one that is more stable. Remove eyeglasses before doing this exercise.
· Move your chair away from your desk or sit in a side chair
where there is room to bend over while sitting. Sit slightly forward in the chair and place your feet shoulder-width apart.
· Take two or three deep breaths, allowing your body to relax
with each complete exhalation.
· On an exhalation, gently pull your belly button toward your
spine and bend over slowly while holding a little tension in your abdomen. Let your arms hang between your legs and your hands touch the floor.
· Let your whole body melt for at least one breath. Feel your
back gently stretch.
· On inhalation, gently begin to lift your torso vertebra by
vertebra, returning to an upright position.
· When you return to sitting upright imagine a string attached
to the back of your head, pulling you up even taller. Let your chin stay tucked as the back of the head and neck lengthen. Imagine that the back of your head is reaching towards the ceiling. Feel the lessening of the disc compression in your back.
· Relax and let go.
Do this or other large movements every 30 to 60 minutes throughout the workday.
OPTION: When you lay down for the night, before falling asleep, stretch your heels toward the foot of the bed and the back of your head-with the chin tucked in-- toward the top of the bed. Straighten out your whole body and exhale. Sense the lengthening of your body as it decompresses.