It doesn’t take long to figure out that sitting all day will impact you physically. Even the most conscientious workers hunch over their keyboard while writing a complicated email or find themselves skipping an afternoon break to eat lunch slouched at their desk. While performing simple desk exercises can help beat common aches and get your blood flowing, years of sitting at a desk will take its toll. When you slouch, your chest muscles tighten, which pulls your spine forward and rotates your shoulders inward. Doing this weakens the muscles of your upper back. You’ll experience pain in your neck and lower back and may, over time, gain a not-so-attractive hunchback.
This condition is called postural kyphosis and is completely reversible if you counteract hours of sitting with some simple daily exercises. Even though these exercises may just take a few minutes to perform, it’s crucial that they’re performed daily to counteract the damage and relieve pain. These exercises beat the hunch by relieving tightness in the chest and strengthening your upper back muscles.
1. Neck retraction
Make sure to give that achy neck a little TLC. This neck retraction exercise will help lengthen your neck muscles, so you can easily hold your neck in the proper position over even the longest workdays. It will also help relieve the tension in your back that eventually leads to a humpback posture. To start, stand with your feet hip-width apart and put your hands on your hips. Tilt your chin down toward your chest while keeping your shoulders pulled back as if you’re trying to bring your shoulder blades together. Retract your neck as far back as you can, so you’re giving yourself a double chin. Hold for several seconds before releasing.