Did you know that spending long hours at your computer can put your health at serious risk? Most people do not even consider that possibility, but it does, Working at a desk is extremely hard on your body, and I would like to share this with you so maybe you can avoid some of the most common health risks.
TYPES OF STRETCHING
What do we usually do before engaging in a workout at the gym? We stretch, right? But have you ever thought about why we do this? Stretching is very important.
It warms up the muscles by increasing its alertness and blood flow to avoid injury. There are different types of stretching that cater to different needs.
1. Ballistic stretching
This type of stretching forces a moving limb way beyond its normal range of movement. One example of ballistic stretching is touching your fingers to your toes. This type brings you to a suddenly stretched position instead of a gradual one.
The muscles that are stretched serve as a spring that can get you out of the stretched position. This type of stretch is not that useful and can lead to injuries. It does not give your muscles enough time to relax and adjust in the stretched position.
2. Dynamic stretching
This is the opposite of ballistic stretching. In this type, you are not forced to stretch your muscles drastically. Examples of this type are torso twists and leg and arm swings. It involves gradual and slow movements of body parts.
There is also a slow increase in reach and in the speed of movement. It is of big help to one's warm-up for martial arts and dancing classes.
3. Active stretching
There is also what you call active stretching or the static-active stretching. This requires you to stretch, for example, your leg, up in the air and hold it there for a few seconds.
You hold it in place without asking for any assistance but from your antagonist's muscles. This kind of stretching can help relax the muscles and is done for ten to fifteen seconds. Yoga utilizes this type of stretching.
4. Passive stretching
This is also called relaxed stretching or static-passive stretching. This type is somewhat like the static-active stretch. However, with static-passive stretching, you need someone or an apparatus to hold the stretched-out limb for you.
An example of this is stretching up your leg while it is being held up in a place by, say, your gym instructor. Splitting is also a perfect example of passive stretching. The floor serves as the apparatus to help support your stretched out position.
5. Static Stretching
Static stretching is usually confused with passive stretching. However, these stretches are two different things. In static stretching, you are brought to the farthest point of your stretch and holding it in place.
On the other hand, passive stretching is a more relaxed form of stretching because you do not have to control the range of motion because it is created by an outside force either mechanically or manually.
6. Isometric Stretching
Isometric stretching is a kind of static stretching that does not require movement. You just have to tense the stretched out muscles. This can be used to increase the static-passive flexibility and is more effective active or passive stretching alone.
It can also enhance strength on tensed muscles that can help decrease pain due to stretching. An example this is when you push up on a wall. Asking someone to hold your leg up for you while you force your leg down is also an example of isometric stretching.
This kind of stretch is not apt for growing children and adolescents because they are flexible enough that these strong stretches could just increase the risk of muscle injuries.
7. PNF Stretching
PNF means proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. This is actually a technique and not a type of stretch. It combines passive and isometric stretching so you can reach your static flexibility maximum.
As a matter of fact, this is used as a rehabilitation therapy for stroke victims. Similar to the isometric stretching, this type is not recommended for children and others who have growing bones.
There go the different types of stretching. In order to avoid injuries, it is better to stretch before doing anything else. Be it just for some light activity or a heavy workload. Take stretching seriously and feel the benefits it can give your body.
There are other risks as you sit in front of that computer but it would be too much to write about in this article, so if you would like to learn more about other risks such as:
RSI (Repetitive Stress Syndrome)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Constant Head Aches