Stretching helps to extend your limbs and muscles to their full capacity. Proper stretching can prevent posture-related problems, help with rehabilitation and minimise your risk of injury. It helps to increase your body’s ability to perform demanding tasks with ease, without pain and a low risk of injury.
Regular stretching helps reduce the muscle pain and fatigue that arises from your work and daily tasks. Many of the tasks you do require either:
- Repetitive movements (eg. Sorting mail or files, keyboard typing)
- No variety in movement (eg. Sitting in a car, using a computer)
Both of these behaviours affect the way your muscles work – they become stiff and inflexible, and create unhealthy patterns of movement. By stretching, you are able to break these unhealthy patterns of movement, allowing your muscles to function effectively.
Lifestyle habits can also contribute to short and tight muscles. When your muscles get this way they are extremely susceptible to fatigue and injury.
- Repetitive movement patterns and inactivity causes some muscles to become weak and others to tighten up, causing muscular imbalances.
- Poor posture is a common cause of back pain and fatigue. Tight muscles on one side of the body and weak muscles in other areas is the main cause of poor posture.
- Tight hamstrings can cause back and/or neck pain. The system of muscles in your body can be likened to a chain of links – if one link in the chain is out, it can affect other links.
Flexibility is the range of motion at any given joint. Therefore, regular stretching:
- Improves your flexibility
- Reduces your risk of injury and pain
- Allows greater joint mobility and range of movement
- Enhances your sporting performance
- Alleviates pain associated with tight muscles
- Allows a quicker recovery from injury
Is it time you took a stretch break?