The final office exercise is to stretch your lower back and neck and do some ankle flexion. You know how when you get up and you can barely walk because you're so stiff from sitting for too long? Just one minute of stretching at your desk can make a difference. People who haven't taken yoga or pilates or done concentrated stretches think stretching is not useful. It is. But do it with intention.
Neck first. Stretching your head, look over to the left gently. Use your hand to push your chin over for a deeper stretch. Take three deep breaths. Feel your tendons let go on the side of your neck. Then slowly take your chin to the right and repeat, taking three breaths on the other side.
Then take your hands on top of your head and gently push your head down so your chin is touching the top of your sternum. Feel the trapezius muscles below your neck. Take six deep breaths. Then lean your head to the back for six breaths.
Now to stretch your lower back. Use the side and back of your chair to pull your torso around to the left side towards the chair and take six deep breaths. On the inhale, pull your torso over more. On the exhale, reach your body higher. Then turn to the other side, again for six deep breaths.
Finally, we do ankle turns. We also do these on airplanes because the blood goes down to your feet if you just sit there. So put your legs up and rotate your ankles to the right, then rotate to left a few times. This just opens your ankle joint. And it feels good.
Everybody wants a massage at the end of the day and that's what you'll feel like after stretching. It sounds simple, but just do it once a day and you'll wonder why you havn't been doing it all along.