The Best Stretches For WFH Lower Back Pain

Photographed by ERika Long.
In the cult classic movie Cats, there's a feline played by Rebel Wilson named JennyAnyDots. The kitten's main storyline is that she's lazy and all she does all day is sit. As I self-quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic, I started identifying with JAD more than ever before.
While working from home, I've been sitting a lot. When I write. When I watch Netflix. When I snack on dried cranberries and spoonfuls of peanut butter. All this extra sitting was getting to me — or rather, it was getting to my back, which recently started cramping in a new and slightly horrifying way.

"Sitting at a desk for eight to 10 hours a day amplifies the toll gravity takes on our spinal health," says Toni Melaas, a dancer and stretching expert at the hip New York City stretching studio Outer Reach. "This can lead to strains and spasms, pulls and tightness." The solution is to stretch more. Like, every day.
Melaas suggested a few key postures that do triple duty. They lengthen the spine, make space in the low back, and target areas that support the back, such as the abs, the outer hips, and the leg muscles. These had me feeling less like a lazy kitten and more like a human again in no time.

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