Safety Tip of the Week

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about stretching to reduce stress in the workplace.

Stretching to Reduce Stress

Work out your stiffness and stress with these tips for stretching in your workspace:

  1. Neck and Shoulders

Hunching over your desk can strain the cervical spine and stiffen your shoulders. Try reaching your arms behind you, interlocking your fingers and lifting your arms. You should feel this stretch in your chest and shoulders.

  1. Back (Cat Pose)

If work space allows – This is a yoga pose which aligns your spine and helps to improve extension and flexion in your back. Start on all fours (if you can find an empty space) and switch between arching your back like a cat and lifting your head and tailbone towards the ceiling.

  1. Legs

If you don’t sit properly you could be reducing the ability for blood to circulate properly, especially in your legs. Remaining seated, extend your legs and reach down towards your toes. Or while standing stretch while reaching towards your toes.

  1. Overhead Stretch

This is a natural stretch that we all do when we’re feeling a bit stiff and tired. Simply raise your arms above your head, interlock your fingers and push away from yourself. Bending at the waist and reaching slowly to the right and hold for a few seconds and then to the left and hold for a few seconds. Repeat if needed.

  1. Wrist Stretch

This one’s for those of you who spend all day typing! Simply stand up and place your wrists on the desk so they face away from you, and gently apply pressure until you feel the stretching. Hold for a few seconds, and then follow with some wrist circles.

Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of motion in your joints. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. You can view stretches here  for additional ideas and help with stretching.