by Christopher Pettit
Performing these desk stretches can help to minimize the neck pain and back pain caused by office work.
Open up your chest and shoulders, awakening the muscles that are become tight whilst you are sitting hunched forwards at your desk. Simply open out and reach back as far as you can.
How to: Start in a seated or standing position. Take the arms back with elbows at shoulder height. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Avoid this move if you have shoulder problems.
Rotate and open up your spine. Rotation is coupled with extension, the movement that today’s office-based environment conspires against for your mid back.
How to: Start in a seated position with the feet flat on the floor. Contract the abs and gently twist the torso towards the right, using your hands to help deepen the stretch. Only twist as far as you comfortably can and keep the back straight whiles keeping the hips square. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Even with the best intentions and seats, it is impossible to avoid sitting forward and slumping when you sit for 8 hours plus at your desk – causing you to have backache. This simple move will stretch all the muscles in your back, sides and arms.
How to: Whilst seated or standing, lace the fingers together and stretch them up towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath as you stretch up as high as you can, then exhale and open the arms, sweeping them back down. Repeat 8-10 times.
Relax your neck and decrease a build-up of tension that could lead to a headache. Many of us drop the head forward when working on the computer, which can put extra stress on the neck muscles. This stretch feels great on the neck and shoulders.
How to: Sitting in your chair, reach down and grab the side of the chair with the right hand and gently pull while tilting your head to the left, feeling a stretch down the right side of the neck and shoulder. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Follow on from above – these small changes can make a difference.
How to: Turn your gaze towards your pocket and you will feel the stretch transfer slightly further around your neck. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.