9 Desk Stretches for People Who Sit All Day

Like millions of people around the world, you might have a job in which you sit most of the day. Those who spend hours in one position may find their bodies starting to ache, and their posture worsening. While there are many ergonomic chairs that can help prevent such aches, stretching is an easy, cost-effective way to loosen your muscles throughout the day.

Stretching also comes with a few benefits that you might not know about. Read on to learn about how stretching can positively impact your work life, and which exercises you can do at your desk.

Stretching will refresh you.

Even though stretching takes time away from work, it can actually improve productivity in the long run. This is because it’s good to take small breaks throughout the day in order to revitalize your mind.

Stretching makes you less tired.

We all suffer from the post-lunch drowsiness. But good news: there is a cure (that’s not coffee)! Stretching increases blood flow to tight joints and muscles, something that also occurs while working out. In the past, exercising was thought to make a person more tired, but today we know that the opposite is true. Therefore, stretching can put a little pep in your step when you’re feeling drowsy.

Stretching feels good.

There is no doubt that the less flexible people of the world may find the act of stretching to be uncomfortable. But, after stretching various muscles, your body typically feels better. We also do not advise stretching to the point of extreme discomfort. You especially need to be careful when stretching in the office because you are loosening cold muscles, which are more susceptible to injuring than those that are warm.

9 Desk Stretches for the Work Day

1. The One Arm Hug

Take one arm across your body and place it on the back of your opposite shoulder. To get a deeper stretch, use your other arm to push back on the elbow. You should feel this stretch on the outside of your arm and shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times each arm.

office chair arm hug stretch

2. Office Chair Back Stretch

While sitting, reach both hands behind your back and around the office chair. One you have a good hold, arch your back and move your chest forward. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.
sitting desk back stretch

3. Reach for the Sky

To stretch your back, interlock both hands above your head, palms facing the ceiling. Sit straight up, then push your palms upward and elongate your spine. You should feel a nice stretch in your back. Make sure to keep your shoulders loose and relaxed. Hold for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times.
sitting office back stretch

4. Calf Raises

Take a break from sitting, stand up and try 20 calf raises. Keep your legs straight and raise yourself by rolling up onto the ball of your foot while tightening your calf.
desk calf exercise

5. Hamstring Chair Stretch

While sitting, straighten your legs and fold your body towards your toes. Make sure to keep your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.office hamstring exercise

6. Seated Lat Stretch

To get a nice lat stretch, raise one arm above your head and bend it slightly across your body. Grab your wrist with the opposite arm and gently tug down to get a deeper stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times per arm.
arm office desk stretch

7. Seated Spine Twist

Cross one leg over the other, then twist your body toward the leg that is on top. You can use the arm of the chair to push yourself into a deeper twist if need be. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times each side.
spine twist office desk

8. Seated Tricep Stretch

Put one arm up and bend your elbow so that the under side of your arm is facing outward. Next, use your opposite arm to push your elbow backwards so that you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times per arm.
office chair tricep stretch

9. Wrist Stretch

Press your palms together in front of your chest and hold for 15 seconds. Next, push the backs of your hands together for a reverse stretch and hold for another 15 seconds. Repeat 5 times.wrist stretch at desk

Note: these stretches are merely recommendations. If you feel pain, stop and contact a medical professional.

Tips for Soon-To-Be Empty-Nesters

With summer coming to a close and fall semesters about to begin, some of us will, for the first time ever, be saying goodbye to our children (at least until Thanksgiving!)

Welcome to the life of the empty-nester.

While many of you know, the term “empty nester” refers to parents whose children have left home and are now on their own. Maybe you’ve experienced this personally, or rather are nervous to send your last kid to school. Read on for more information about empty nest syndrome, and some ways in which you can prepare for it.

What is Empty Nest Syndrome?

Empty nest syndrome is the sadness and loneliness that accompanies sending your last child away from home or, the “nest.” Although you may promote independence as a parent, it can be mentally difficult knowing that you are no longer playing the same role in your child’s life. Those most prone to empty nest syndrome include those who do not handle change well, full-time parents, as well as those who struggle with anxiety.

An empty nest can be daunting — your family dynamics will shift, relationships will change, and you may find yourself questioning your self-identity. As parents, we will all be forced to let go of our children. Here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

How To Prepare To Be An Empty-Nester

When a child leaves home, your house can suddenly feel like a foreign place: it’s important that you prepare for it.

1. Find Confidence That Your Child is Ready

Does your child know how to fix a flat tire? Do they know how to make their own food (that’s not cereal)? Do they have information about health and car insurance in case of an accident?

To prep for sending your son or daughter away from home, you’ll worry less if you know that they are independent, self-sufficient adults.

2. Talk to Other Empty-Nesters

Find counsel in others that have been through the process. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but the empty nest syndrome is a very real phenomenon felt by anyone who has launched their last child into the “real world.” Talking to others will help you feel less alone, as well as learn what helped others get through the initial heartbreak.

3. Pursue Alternative Hobbies

Remember when you loved to quilt? Or paint? Or read? Well, now you have the time! Think about what you’re passionate about and focus on those hobbies when you find spare time. Not only will these activities help distract you from the absence in your home, but hobbies are a great way to build self-esteem. Need ideas? Here are a few hobbies with proven health benefits.

4. Build Existing Relationships, Make New Friends

Now that being a parent is less time intensive than it used to be, you have more time to devote to your spouse or friends. In regards to your marriage, this is a new chapter in you and your partner’s life. If you’ve found that things have been a bit dull lately, find ways to rekindle your romance and tackle the next great adventure together.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to find new friends to spend time with. Join a gym, sign up for classes, or get involved in your community — new friends are a great way to help deal with the loneliness felt from a bare home.

5. Keep a Positive Attitude

Ultimately, launching your children into adulthood will be a mentally difficult process. Remember to stay positive! What you’re feeling is normal, and you’ll need time to adapt to your new life. You can do it!


The Biggest State Fairs in the United States

As any full-blooded American, you’ve probably been to a fair or two. Especially if you’re from Texas. While there are thousands of fairs across the United States every year, these 10 states had the largest attendance numbers in 2015. From mind-blowing food to livestock education, here’s a quick breakdown of the top ten biggest state fairs* in America.

1. State Fair of Texas (3.5 million visitors)

state fair of texas

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Brown and the State Fair of Texas

The old saying “everything is bigger in Texas” is especially true of its fairs. In 2015, the State Fair of Texas brought in 3.5 million visitors over a 24-day period of live music, exhibitions, attractions, and delicious, delicious food.

This year, the fair is welcoming the Taylor Swift Experience exhibit, which features memorabilia from the singer-songwriter your grandkids can’t get enough of. While the exhibition typically lives at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, it’s making a special trip for The Lone Star State’s 130th state fair. If you’re not a fan of Taylor Swift, not to worry. From Cotton Bowl football games to an impressive auto show, you’re sure to find more than enough activities at the biggest fair in America.

2. Minnesota State Fair (1.8 million visitors)

candied bacon donut sliders

Photo courtesy of the Minnesota State Fair

Famous for their mouth-watering food, the Minnesota State Fair comes in at number two on our list with roughly 1.8 million visitors in 2015. On top of the list this year is a candied bacon donut slider, which, unbelievably, looks even better than it sounds. You can check out their new food for 2016 here.

Other attractions include Hen Houses, a Bulls and Barrel Championship, and 5 Selfie Spots. If you see Fairchild the Gopher walking around, give him a high-five — the state fair’s mascot celebrates his 50th anniversary this year.

3. The Big E (1.3 million visitors)

Also known as the Eastern States Exposition, The Big E includes all 6 New England States: Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The fair is held in Massachusetts and saw a little over 1.3 million visitors last year.

Expect the Big E to bring in just as many people as in the previous year — this East Coast fair is celebrating 100 years in 2016. Top attractions include a 1,800 sq. ft. wine and cheese barn, tons of musical performances, and butter sculptures, just to name a few.

4. Tulsa State Fair (1.2 million visitors)

In 2015, roughly 1.2 million visitors attended the Tulsa State Fair — about 300,000 more visitors than the Oklahoma State Fair. Kicking off this year’s Tulsa State Fair, much to the delight of both kids and adults, is Disney on Ice’s “Worlds of Enchantment.”  The fair begins in late September and ends mid-October.

5. Iowa State Fair (1.17 million visitors)


Photo courtesy of the Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair, which brought in 1.17 million visitors in 2015, sure likes its entertainment. The fair offers numerous free concerts, as well as more well-known artists such as Steven Tyler, Megan Trainer, and Dierks Bentley, for a price. If you’re looking for family friendly attractions, check out the Des Moines Register’s list of top activities for families and children at the Iowa State Fair.

On top of music, the Iowa State Fair offers a wide variety good eats, including over 70 “mobile” foods on a stick. Their list of healthy choices is a lot shorter, as it should be.

6. Arizona State Fair (1.1 million visitors)

Despite a slight drop in attendance from 2014, the Arizona State Fair drew around 1.1 million visitors in 2015. With numerous concerts, rides, food, and exhibitions, this Southwest state fair takes place in Phoenix at the beginning of October.

7. Wisconsin State Fair (1 million visitors)


Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin State Fair

Celebrating 165 years in 2016, the Wisconsin State Fair looks to draw more visitors than it did in 2015. Like other state fairs on our list, the Midwest fair offers a variety of free entertainment, as well as top-notch musicians like Rascal Flatts and the Beach Boys, for a fee.

If you find yourself heading to the fair this August, be sure to try their famous cream puffs. According to their website, the puffs have been sold since 1924, and more than 400,000 were consumed in 2015.

8. North Carolina State Fair (1 million visitors)

north carolina state fair

Photo Courtesy of the North Carolina State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair saw 1 million visitors in 2015, growing slightly in attendance from the previous year. Hosted in Raleigh, North Carolina, the fair features rides, numerous competitions ranging from graphic design to horse shows, and flaunts entertainment events, such as their Folk Festival. To see what’s new in 2016, check out their list online.

9. Ohio State Fair (982,305 visitors)

Bringing in just under 1 million visitors in 2015, the Ohio State Fair has been hosted by a plethora of cities within the Buckeye State before settling down in Columbus, the capital. Unlike many fairs listed, the Ohio State Fair takes place at the end of July and concludes in early August.

2015 Ohio State Fair: Day Two
Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair

10. The Great New York State Fair (908,147 visitors)

The Great New York State Fair saw north of 900,000 visitors in 2015. Fair-goers will be excited to try a few new attractions such as the butterflies around the world, which hosts around 20 exotic breeds.

On top of a great butterfly exhibit, visitors will be happy to know that The Taste NY Marketplace will be back for the third year. The fair is scheduled for late August and will conclude in mid-September.

*Please note that we only included state fairs, and did not include county fairs, etc.

The Top 10 Apps That Make Your Life Easier

Here at Readers.com, we understand how difficult life can be. We know plans don’t always work as intended. We recognize the everyday struggle of trying to find ways to simplify our complicated, engrossed life. We get it, life is tough, which is why our team comprised a list of the ten essential apps just for you that make each day a lot less stressful and more enjoyable for you. Hope you enjoy!

1. Mint

It can be confusing and even frustrating finding an app that keeps your spending and personal budgets on track. One of the best apps we found and love is the Mint.com app. This app acts as a financial conscience helping you budget, track expenses, create and manage goals, and also monitor your credit score. Stay on top of your financial spending by receiving alerts about late fees, bill reminders, and also weekly spending summaries so you’ll never have to worry about missing a payment, going over budget, or spending too much dough on coffee.  

2. Gogobot

Awarded the go-to app for travelers, this app is the all in one travel guide you’ll ever need. Not only does this app offer excellent suggestions for food, hotels, and attractions based on your personal preferences, but it also connects you socially with your friends and other travelers so you can share your itinerary, receive recommendations, and keep up to date on new attractions and events going on near you.  

3. WebMD Symptom Checker

A source for trusted health advice. From answering health questions to looking up symptoms, this app answers any medical questions you might have. For those who want to go a step further, this app is a source of healthy tips that help you sustain a daily healthy lifestyle.

4. Google Maps

The best GPS you can ever ask for, Google Maps is reliable, secure, and far more efficient than the competitors. This app gets you where you need to go, providing you with turn-by-turn directions, and traffic updates to ensure you have the shortest commute possible. What makes this app stand out is its ability to provide you with effective directions whether you are driving, walking, cycling, or taking public transit. Never worry about getting lost ever again.

5. Dinner Spinner 

With a collection of over forty thousand recipes, dinner spinner is the app you need whenever you are putting on that apron to cook up something special. With its extremely user-friendly interface, you can find a dinner recipe that works perfectly for any setting. Whether you are hosting a family dinner or are looking for a healthy dinner for two, this app makes cooking not only easier but a lot more fun. Download on:  Android / Apple

6. Bakodo

For those of you always looking for the best deals, this is the app for you. Scan or search any product and find the best prices and deals to help you save. Always make the best decision with product information right in the app itself. If their product is in another store, no need to worry — you can buy the product right within the app using Apple pay.

7. Heads Up

We all need that one game to have for those relaxing nights with friends and family. Heads up is that game that never fails to excite everyone in the room. Choose from a variety of categories and try and guess the word on the card using clues from your teammates before the time runs out. A game that brings out the laughter in all of us, no matter the age. Family game night is back! Download on: Android/ Apple 

8. Grubhub

Have you ever come home from a long day to a house with no food? Tired of ordering pizza delivery? Well, this app makes your life a lot easier. Grubhub offers a variety of restaurants that deliver right to you. As you commute home, simply access the menu from the app, choose exactly which meal you want, decide the method of payment, and boom, your food arrives just as you get home. Gone are the late night Chinese delivery meals. An excellent meal minus the hassle.

9. Etsy

If you are ever looking for some crafty, handmade, vintage goods, then download the Etsy app. An essential app for online shoppers, Etsy makes shopping for unique products easy and fun. Concerned about the products, have any questions, or want to personalize a product, this app connects you directly to the shop owners.

10. Over

The final app we recommend is an app that turns anyone into a designer. The Over app gives you a platform to break out your creative side. Whether you want to make a greeting card, design a picture, express your feelings, this app provides you with endless opportunities to see what you can do. Create your custom design for your next Christmas card and show all your friends and family the designer in you.