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Stretch it Out: Perfect Stretches for Nurses

A stretch a day keeps tension at bay. When work overwhelms your mind and body, it is time to limber up. Try these light moves that can alleviate your muscle aches, improve blood circulation and calm your mind.

Next time your on shift try these simple yet effective workouts and stretches!

1. Neck stretch

Stand up straight with your head level. Place one hand behind your back as if standing “at ease,” only with the back of your hand on your lower back. Put the other hand on top of your head, and gently pull your head to the side until you feel a stretch. You should feel the stretch in your neck, shoulder, and a little bit in your core. Hold for 20 seconds, then do the other side. Do this once an hour to help keep your neck muscles loose and balanced.

2. Chest and shoulder stretch

Stand up straight with good posture. Put your hands out to your side, and rotate your hands so your thumb is pointing backward until they’re pointing at the wall behind you. Arch your back, pressing your shoulder blades together, and hold for five seconds. If you do this once an hour, it will help prevent back, shoulder, and neck pain caused by constantly leaning over your patients and looking down at their charts.

3. Torso Twist

Inhale and as you exhale twist to the right grabbing your chair to help increase the twist. Holding the twist, set your gaze over your right  shoulder. Challenge yourself to catch a glimpse of as much as you can over that shoulder. Repeat this stretch to the left.

4. Leg Extensions

Grab the seat of your chair while sitting straight up. Extend your right leg straight so that it is parallel to the floor. Point your toes forward and then flex them back five times. Release your foot back to the floor. Repeat with your other leg.