The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends stretching as an exercise or to warm up for rigorous activities. Stretching gets your heart pumping and can keep you alert for long hours in front of the computer at home.
If you aren't used to working where you normally wind down for the day, try stretching before you get started. This can help you create a healthy transition to work mode. Here are some stretches you can do beside your workstation — whether that's a kitchen counter or a formal home office.
Get down on all fours. Push back until your butt rests on your heels. Place your forehead against the exercise mat, and round your spine. Extend your arms over your head or rest them by your side. Hold the pose for 30 seconds or as long as comfortable.
Variation: Sit on a chair and place a pillow in your lap. Relax forward until your head touches the pillow, hanging your arms at your side.
Stretches: spine, shoulders, upper back
Stand up, holding an exercise ball to your body. Inhale, tightening your abs and stretching your spine. Exhale, bringing your chin to your chest. Curl over the ball. Keep your knees soft. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Stretches: back, abs, shoulders
Place your feet together in a standing position. Bending over to place your hands on an exercise ball. Inhale deeply, rolling the ball forward. This lengthens the spine to relieve tension. Exhale as you pull the ball toward your legs. As you do so, drop your chin against your chest. Round your back, keeping your abs tight.
Stretches: Chest, abs
How to: With your feet hip-distance apart, place your hands on an exercise ball. Then, roll it forward, bending at the hips. One palm stays on the ball as you raise your opposite arm toward the ceiling. Stretch upward, following your arm with your eyes. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, and then, switch arms to do it again.
According to Canada's Food Guide, adults and seniors need at least 150 minutes of activity each week. You can break this up in 10 minutes increments of stretching or your favourite activity. Refer to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement & Activity Guidelines for more ideas on how to stay fit while working at home.