Stretch and Flex

During my time here, I’ve learned that the Vigilant Team is a very accepting group. After my first few weeks back at a desk and sitting for the majority of the day, I noticed that I started to get sore and tense. This made me think about when I was doing a stretch routine twice a week at one of my previous work terms. After mentioning stretch to Colin here at the office, he said “if you are going to do it, you have to do it in the morning, every day”.  

Needless to say, we now conduct a daily “no social pressure stretch”. This means it is a voluntary activity that happens every morning. Employees stretch in a space free of judgement, because everyone participating in stretch looks the same - foolish or not!. Workers in today’s society typically spend the majority of each day sitting at a desk. As we all know, the body needs to get up and move around sometimes, and what better way to do it then to get up out of your desk and start the morning off on the right foot (literally). 

What most people don’t know is that stretching is a very popular occurrence on construction sites. Stretch occurs every day, and first thing in the morning, as it can reduce the risk of soft tissue injuries. This made it easy to integrate stretch because out of the 12 people we have in the office, 3 of them have spent a significant time on construction sites and understood the benefits.

Our daily stretch includes a toe touch/ hang, wrist/typing stretches and oblique stretches, just to name a few. This activity has gone over really well and also works as a team building opportunity. We have recently added a new component called “celebrity guest stretch”. Every day, this is where a new employee leads one stretch at the end of the session.
My challenge to whomever is reading this is to talk to your co-workers about a stretch at work or take a few minutes in your work day to stand up and do some personal stretching. And remember, if you ever end up having an early morning meeting at Vigilant, feel free to join the stretch. Or not, there’s no pressure! 

- Kathleen

P.S. Please see below our Vigilant stretching routine!

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Stretch Routine

Quad Stretch: 10 seconds per leg. While balancing on one-foot pull foot with hand toward body

Toe Touch: Hold 10 seconds 

Head/ Neck Stretches:

  • Ear to shoulder: 10 seconds each side

  • Head Roll: Slowly roll head forwards from left to right 3 times

Typing stretches: 10 seconds per direction

  • Flex hand upward and pull toward body using other hand - arm straight

  • Flex hand downward and pull toward body using other hand – arm straight

Figure eights:

  • Interlace your fingers in front of your body.

  • Keeping your elbows tucked into your sides, move your interlaced hands in a figure eight motion.

  • Allow your wrists to rotate fully so that each hand is alternately on top of the other.

  • Perform this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds.

Runner's Stretch:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Step back with your left leg 

  • Lower your hips until you feel a stretch in the front of your left hip and leg.

  • Switch legs

Side Oblique Stretch:

  • Stand with feet a little wider than hip-distance apart 

  • As you lift one arm overhead with your palm facing inward, reach and lean toward the opposite side of the arm raised

  • Switch sides.

Wall Stretch: – chest opener

  • Place arm against wall keeping arm parallel to the floor

  • Place open hand or thumb and index finder against the wall 

  • Rotate chest outward while arm is against the wall

  • Hold for 10 seconds

  • Switch

Calf Stretch Against Wall

  • Standing near a wall, place the toes of your right foot on the base of the wall.

  • Lean in towards the wall, feeling the stretch in your calf.  Make sure not to bend your back leg—only go as far as you can while keeping it straight.

  • Hold, then repeat on other side