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FIT TIPS: Preventing, reducing stiffness

With the aim of helping faculty, staff and students "Get Your 150" (minutes of recommended exercise a week) to improve health and wellness, the Gazette and Athletics and Recreation will be offering Fit Tips each week.

Standing or sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on your muscles. To prevent or reduce stiffness and pain, try these simple office stretches throughout your workday.

• Stretch your shoulder by placing one hand under your elbow, lift your elbow and stretch it across your chest.

• Stretch the muscles of your chest by placing your hands behind your head, squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing your elbows back as far as possible.

• Loosen stiff neck and shoulder muscles by lowering your chin to your chest.

• Stretch the muscles along the side of your neck by tilting your ears towards your shoulder. (Don't bring your shoulder up to your ear.)

• Stretch your lower back by bring one of your knees toward your chest while sitting forward in your chair. Use your hands to gently pull it toward you. (Keep your back straight, being careful not to lean forward.)