For many people, a day at work means a day spent in a chair. One in four Americans sit for more than eight hours a day, a study from JAMA reports — despite the fact that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to a variety of health concerns, like cardiovascular disease and obesity. Sitting for too long results in neurological damage as well; a 2018 study found that more hours spent sitting correlates with thinner medial temporal lobes, which is considered a precursor of cognitive decline later in life. But there’s hope! Engaging in light physical activity, such as a dynamic, elongating stretch, can assuage the damage done by sitting. Much like the midday espresso you may have come to crave, a good stretch can can also boost your energy.
But what qualifies as an effective stretch? Does loafing around on the foam roller (as I often do) count? Are there particular movements that are essential for a person who sits at a desk (and can you actually do them at your desk)? To find out, I visited Stretch*d, a boutique wellness space in Manhattan that offers one-on-one stretching sessions by trained Stretch*rs. Watch the video to see what I found out.