We often correlate stretching with exercise. While it’s undoubtedly beneficial to stretch before and after a workout, the benefits of stretching extend well beyond the physical.
Stretching can help you feel better and make it easier to focus throughout the day. Whether you regularly face a mid-afternoon slump or are just feeling stuck in a rut at work, try adding a few simple stretches to your day to jumpstart your mind and get back on task.
The Impact of Posture on Your Focus
How we hold our bodies impacts how we feel, including our ability to concentrate. A recent study from San Francisco University tested students on their ability to perform simple math problems while holding correct posture versus sitting slumped over in poor posture. The students overwhelmingly performed better when they sat upright.
In the real world, we all too often find ourselves slumped over our desks without being prompted. This includes everyone from elementary school students to adults. The average American spends 10 hours a day sitting, often in a slouched position.
We can’t always change the amount of time we spend in a seat. What we can change, though, is how we hold our bodies while we’re seated and the ways we stretch our muscles to help our bodies obtain excellent posture.
Stretches to Improve Posture and Concentration
You don’t need to plan ahead to fit stretching into your day. It can be done anytime, anywhere, with no equipment necessary. Try incorporating these stretches into your workday to get a boost in energy as you reset your posture so you can get back to work.
Stand inside a standard doorway. Place on hand on the frame at the height of your armpit to support your body weight. Start leaning forward until you feel tension between your biceps and pectoral muscles. Stand here for about 30 seconds, slowly increasing the tension. Then, swing your arm forward and backward a few times before repeating on the other side.
Sit on your right hand in your office chair with your feet on the ground. Gently extend your neck to the left, trying to reach your left ear to your left shoulder (or however close you can get. Don’t force it if you feel tight). Hold for about 30 seconds. Then, repeat on the other side.
Reverse your curved spine with this back stretch. Sit on the edge of your chair. Plant your feet on the floor. Straighten your arms in front of you, then raise them over your head with your palms facing each other. Draw your arms behind your ears and bend your back slowly until your spine starts to curve backward. Look up at the ceiling as you breathe deep and hold for one minute.
The next time you’re having “one of those days” at work where you just can’t seem to focus on anything, try stretching. You might be surprised at how effective just a few minutes of stretching can be when it comes to increasing your productivity.
To learn more about stretching or to get assistance with your stretching, book an appointment with StretchSPOT. Our experts can help you determine the best stretches for your body and guide you through stretches that will help you feel better inside and out.