This brief exercise can be done in your chair at your office or home, in your car or out at the park. It can benefit anyone, especially those with a repetitive occupation such as driving, sitting, caring for children or standing. It will boost oxygen delivery and blood flow, helping to improve posture, reduce pain, increase comfort and energy…especially for those who suffer the 3pm go-slows.
Studies have shown the greatest benefit from performing it every 30 minutes, however in practical terms, it is a great exercise even if its done once per day. It can be done while you are sitting reading an email, watching TV, waiting for the kettle to boil or waiting for the car to warm up. For some, it is helpful to set an alarm at certain intervals or to link it with a specific action, such as every time they get up to get a glass of water. Find what works for you and commit to making this change consistent.
Chest Opener Exercise
- Sit upright on chair or swiss ball, feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with feet slightly turned out. Sit up tall, open chest by squeezing shoulder blades together and turning arms out. Straighten your elbows, and place hands behind you with palms open and facing out and fingers separated as far as possible.
- Keep eyes level, looking straight ahead, chin slightly tucked in.
- Take 5 deep strong breaths, in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 6. Each breath in, it is important to exaggerate the starting position, stretching further and stronger with each breath.
- Perform every 30 minutes that you are at your desk or once or twice a day and feel the benefits.
Throughout this exercise, you may feel areas of discomfort and restriction. If this feeling persists after doing this exercise for 3 days then you may benefit from a consultation with one of our Osteopaths, who will work with you to find the cause of the discomfort and resolve it so you can get the best out of your respiratory and immune system, feel more energetic and be more comfortable in your work and play.
Written by Dr. Jess Harvey B.Sc. (Anat, Phys), B.Ap.Sci (Comp. Med.), Ma Osteo., Registered Osteopath and Director of Head 2 Toe Health, a multidisciplinary clinic in Brisbane also providing Acupuncture, Massage, Life Coaching and Counselling – where we aim to get you as well as possible, as fast as possible, permanently. We believe in a thorough approach to restoring and maintaining health and address many aspects of our lifestyles that can contribute to pain, stiffness, dis-ease and disease. For any further information, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07) 3208 8308.