While we all know by now that sitting is tough, standing all day isn’t ideal either. Whether you’re walking around a hospital, standing behind a counter, or standing at a desk in your home office, standing in one position all day can cause muscle fatigue, back pain, and leg swelling.
Here are some muscles or stretches you can try to counteract the effects of standing all day. You can do these while you’re standing at work, or after for some relief!
Tip: Don’t forget to support your body from the ground up by adding an insole to your shoes if you’re going to be standing all day!
Standing Lunge Calf Stretch
This is a great stretch to work into your daily routine either on lunch breaks or for quick mini breaks away from your desk. It will keep the blood flowing in your legs and help prevent swelling.
- Prevents cramping in calf muscles
- Promotes circulation
- Prevents conditions such as plantar fasciitis
Standing Quad Stretch
Use this stretch to target the largest muscle group in the body, the quads. When the quads are tight they will pull on other muscles so make sure to work this stretch into your workday.
- Elongates the muscles
- Improves range of motion
- Keeps the quadriceps muscles loose and flexible
Seated/Chair Forward Fold
You should be taking breaks to sit if you stand all day. When you take a break, try this stretch right in your chair!
- Increase your lower back flexibility
- Increase circulation and blood flow to your lower spine muscles
- Decrease tightness in the lower back
This move couldn’t be easier to work in when you’re already standing. If you find yourself standing still for too long and getting stiff, just stand on your tiptoes.
- Train the muscles in your lower legs or calves
- Bend your knees slightly to engage your soleus muscles, on the lower part of your calves
- Create ankle extension
Squats are an age-old “favorite” but even if you love to hate them, they are a great workout for the lower half of your body and a great way to get relief when you stand all day.
- Strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles
- Strengthen the knee joint
- Strengthen the lower back
You might need to wait until you get home to this one, but if you want to target a ton of muscles in one move, try a bridge!
- Strengthens a variety of muscles, including your glutes, hamstrings, and more
- Reduces knee and back pain
- Strengthen the core
- Improve your posture
Experts say you should aim to stand for about four hours a day and sit for another four, switching every hour. So make sure you take breaks if your job has you standing and if making that switch isn’t possible, work in these stretches and exercises so you can feel better and do more!