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3-Minute Stretching Routine to Avoid Sitting Risks

By Nutra Active Team

Think back through your last 24 hours and recall: How much time did I spend sitting?

You may probably be sitting right now as you’re reading this!

Excessive sitting has been linked to a number of health conditions such as higher blood pressure, blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels and excess body fat around the waist. Plus, the wrong sitting postures may worsen constipation and even incontinence, and should not be overlooked.

It is recommended that one should take intermittent breaks from sitting every half an hour. Here’s a 3-minute stretch you can do during your break.

#1 Scapula Stretch

  1. Standing upright and with a stable core, interlock your fingers behind your head.
  2. Ensure your shoulders are engaged and not sagging.
  3. From this position, pull your elbows back.
  4. You should feel a stretch in your scapulae (shoulder blades).
  5. Hold this position for 20 seconds.

#2 Shoulder Stretch

  1. With a slight forward lean in your torso, interlock your fingers behind your back, slightly above your tailbone.
  2. Your palms should be facing upwards.
  3. From this position, extend your arms out fully behind you, engaging your shoulders.
  4. Your palms should be facing your back in the extended position.
  5. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds.

#3 Corner Chest Stretch

  1. Head over to an empty corner of the room.
  2. Place both hands on each individual wall, while keeping your arms parallel to the ground and your shoulders engaged.
  3. If you’d like, you can stagger one leg in front of the other for added stability.
  4. Gently lean your body forward towards the wall. If your feet are staggered, have a slight lift on the backfoot.
  5. With your arms firmly in place and your pelvis dropped down in back, you should feel your chest muscles being stretched back.
  6. You are free to adjust the depth of the stretch depending on your preference; just be cautious not to injure yourself.
  7. Hold this position for 20 seconds.

#4 Quad Stretch

  1. Place your left hand on the back of a chair for support.
  2. Raise your right heel up to your right glute, using your right hand to hold it in place by grasping the top of your feet.
  3. Ensure your body is erect and in a straight line from head to toe, with your gaze forward.
  4. You should feel your quadriceps being stretched.
  5. Hold this position for 20 seconds before repeating the stretch on the other leg for another 20 seconds.

#5 Hamstring Stretch

  1. Turn your chair around and extend your right leg out such that the sole of your foot is resting on the back of the chair.
  2. From this position, lean forward to try and reach your toes, while maintaining the full extension in your leg.
  3. If you are unable to reach it, stretch for as far as you are comfortable.
  4. Ensure your leg remains taut throughout the entire stretch. You should feel your right hamstring being engaged.
  5. Hold this position for 20 seconds before repeating the stretch on the other leg for another 20 seconds.

#6 Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Take a seat on your chair with your spine erect and your torso upright.
  2. Rest your right ankle on your left knee.
  3. While maintaining a straight back, lean your torso forward until you feel a light stretch.
  4. You should feel your hip flexor and glute being engaged.
  5. Hold this position for 20 seconds before repeating the stretch using the other leg for another 20 seconds.

This entire routine should take you 3 minutes to complete. If you’re still feeling stiff, feel free to extend the duration of the stretches, or repeat the routine multiple times!


[] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

[] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/3-surprising-risks-of-poor-posture

[] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005


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