Mahir Reiss: Stretching for Work, Not Just for Working Out

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A new report reveals that stretching is not only an important facet of fitness, but one that may benefit individuals in the workplace. Physical therapist Mahir Reiss weighs in on the need to protect the body on the job.

There are many professions that demand physical endurance, but a recent article from The Washington Times reveals that even employees who remain at a desk for most of the work day should take notice of the toll their job may be taking on their bodies. Although many individuals who work at a desk for the majority of the day are aware of ways to avoid the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, the article explains that office employees should consider other precautions as a way to avoid injury on the job. As a physical therapist treating a wide range of patients, Dr. Mahir Reiss notes that practicing proper stretching techniques could help many individuals alleviate and stave off soreness and pain associated with daily tasks.

The article explains, “Anyone who lifts weights at a gym knows the importance of correct wrist placement while working out, but most people do not know there is a correct way to hold the wrists when typing as well. The combination of bad form at the gym and bad form at the office can be disastrous in the long run. One almost unavoidable side effect of long hours at the office is strain to the shoulder.”

Mahir Reiss responds, “Those who work long hours should consult with a physical therapist or doctor if they are experiencing continuous shoulder pain, or in any other region, as a result of the activities they must do while on the job. These professionals can help one understand proper stretching techniques and ways to prevent such injuries from worsening or developing in the first place.”

The article suggests that those who engage in work tasks that internally rotate shoulder joints may face injury if they engage in contradictory activities after the job that require the shoulders to remain “fit and flexible.” In terms of prevention, it encourages professionals to “balance joints back out throughout the day” by “doing a few shoulder rotations every time [one gets] up from [the] desk.” When engaging in fitness after or before work, individuals should stretch out their shoulders slowly before starting into a workout with full force. For example, “A rowing machine can also be a great warm up instead of the usual treadmill which keeps shoulders internally rotated.”

While the article highlights the importance of stretching out shoulders to avoid work-related injuries, Dr. Mahir Reiss notes that this particular concern should highlight other precautionary measures for all those who have desk jobs. Reiss concludes, “The potential risk of shoulder injury from typing reveals just how much damage can come from the small repetitive actions we do throughout the day. With this specific observation, professionals should realize that it is important to stretch all areas of their body on a daily basis—such as the legs, which may remain in a fixed position for those who sit at a desk for extended hours.”


Mahir Reiss is a licensed physical therapist who owns and operates his own practice in San Diego, California. With more than 35 years of experience in the field, Dr. Reiss treats a variety of patients, from professional athletes who need to get back in the game to elderly individuals looking to enjoy a walk around their neighborhood again. In addition to traditional physical therapy, Mahir Reiss offers aquatic therapy, massage and nutrition counseling services at his private practice.

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Andy McNamara
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