Healthcare workers are typically on their feet all day, leaning over to help lift patients in a way that can put considerable strain on the body – especially the lower back. You may also work in a health care setting where you are relegated to doing lots of paperwork at the computer. But sitting for long periods of time also creates others kinds of muscular tension and can also be dangerous to your health.
Two Effective Stretches for Healthcare Workers
Here are two easy stretches to help give you some healthy relief:
Standing Side Stretch
- Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. Put your hands together with fingers pointed toward the sky.
- Now take a long deep breath, and as you inhale reach upward and extend your arms.
- With arms extended and fingers still pointing bend at the waist to move and tilt your upper body to the right. As you perform this movement slowly exhale.
- Maintain this side stretch for the length of 2-3 slow deep breaths. Then slowly return to center, to your original position.
- Repeat the side bend, this time on the left side.
- Lie on the floor on an exercise mat, face down, and place your palms on the floor at your shoulders – so that your thumbs are right beneath your shoulders.
- Keep legs extended and together with the tops of your feet on the floor and the soles of your feet facing the sky.
- As you engage the muscles of your abs and core, tuck your hips downward and also pull the shoulders downward away from your ears.
- Pushing with your palms, gently raise your chest as you take a long, deep inhale. Keep your head upright as you push your chest out and press your palms into the floor.
- Exhale as you relax back into your original prone position. Repeat this exercise 3-5 times.
To further ensure your health and well being, sign up for a free stretching class or beginning yoga class in your community. Many hospitals offer this kind of class for free to their employees, or you can find out about other opportunities by asking someone in the physical therapy or human resources department where you work.