Working night shifts can be tough on your body and mind. However, did you know that a few easy stretches can help lessen the strain?
Stretching can help reduce tension in the body, relax the mind, and improve posture. Moreover, studies have shown that it also helps your mental health.
To enjoy these benefits, you can squeeze in these 8 simple nighttime stretches as you work:
Neck Tilt and Rotation
To ease neck tension, try neck tilts and rotations.
- First, gently tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear toward your shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side.
- Then, slowly turn your head to one side, then the other, as if you’re looking over your shoulder. Hold each position for 15-30 seconds.
For better posture and flexibility, you can do shoulder rolls:
- Roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion for 15 seconds.
- Then, roll your shoulders backwards in a circular motion for 15 seconds.
You can also improve your posture and reduce shoulder and neck tension with a chest opener:
- First, stand or sit with your back straight.
- Then, clasp your hands behind your back and gently lift your arms, opening your chest. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Seated Spinal Twist
For better spinal mobility, a seated spinal twist is ideal:
- Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Twist your torso to one side, placing your hand on the backrest or armrest for support. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
To relieve back pain, you can do hip flexor stretches:
- Stand up and take a step back on one leg.
- Bend your front knee while keeping your back leg straight, lowering your hips slightly. You should feel a stretch at the front of your hip. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each side.
Standing Forward Fold
Also called the Uttanasana in yoga, the standing forward fold strengthens your hamstrings, spine, calves, and core muscles.
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
- Slowly bend forward at your hips, reaching for your toes or as far as is comfortable. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Beneficial for the hamstring, this stretch helps increase flexibility and reduce muscle tightness. It can also help relieve back pain.
- Sit on the edge of your chair with one leg extended and the other foot flat on the floor.
- Gently reach forward toward your outstretched foot, keeping your back straight. Hold for 15-30 seconds on each leg.
Ankle circles are also a good stretching exercise to improve the blood flow in your lower extremities. It can also prevent stiffness and relieve ankle discomfort from prolonged sitting.
- Sit comfortably in your chair and lift one foot off the ground.
- Rotate your ankle clockwise and counterclockwise for 15 seconds in each direction. Switch to the other ankle.
With that, you can use the stretches above to ease any discomfort and improve your well-being while working the night shift.
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