Does your work include exposure to awkward body postures and continual pressing on hard surfaces for long periods of time?
Repetitive activities such as typing on your keyboard or using the phone can lead to injury over a period of time. Unlike normal injuries that have a tendency to heal much faster, injuries sustained while constantly sitting behind an office desk can linger on painfully for days. They affect
both the upper limbs of the body including eyes, fingers, forearms, wrists and
elbows as well as your lower and upper back.
Ergonomic Stretches & Exercises
Proper ergonomic exercises and stretching at the office can help relax your muscles, as well as strengthen them to help prevent future injury.
Stretching also increases circulation, which may help you feel better while you work.
**Please Note: When performing these exercises & stretches, please make certain to go by the feel of the stretch – this is more important than how far you stretch (or even how far others stretch). If you are experiencing pain right now, you should first consult with your doctor before doing any of these stretches, and if you experience any discomfort while doing these, please stop doing them immediately.
Hands and Wrists Stretches
- Place your hands palm-to-palm in front of you
- Move hands downward, keeping your palms together, until you feel a mild stretch
- Keep elbows up and even
- Hold 5-8 second
- Separate and straighten your fingers until the tension of a stretch is felt
- Hold 10 seconds
- Relax, then bend fingers at the knuckles and hold 10 seconds
- Repeat the first stretch once more
Neck and Shoulders Exercises
- Interlace your fingers behind your back, palms facing your back
- Slowly turn your elbows inward while straightening your arms until a stretch is felt
- Lift your breast bone slightly upward as you stretch
- Hold 10 seconds
Shoulder Stretches & Exercises
- Hold your left arm just above your elbow with your right hand
- As you look over your left shoulder, gently pull your elbow toward the opposite shoulder until a stretch is felt
- Hold 10-15 seconds
- Do both sides
- Lean forward to stretch
- Keep your head down and your neck relaxed
- Hold 10 – 20 seconds
- Use your hands to push yourself upright
Abdomen & Hip Stretches
- Stand with hands on your hips
- Gently turn your torso at the waist and look over your shoulder until you feel the stretch
- Hold 8 – 10 seconds
- Repeat other side
- Keep your knees slightly flexed
- Do not hold your breath
Palming is an activity you can do to relax your eyes periodically throughout the day.
1. Cover your closed eyes with your hands, so that the palms are over your eyelids. Your fingers should overlap above your nose on your forehead;
2. Take a few deep breathes and take in the complete darkness;
3. After 20 seconds, uncover your eyes and allow them to refocus. That’s it. You’re ready to resume your day!
If you are constantly working behind a computer, you should regularly look away to allow your eyes to change focus. This exercise should be repeated at least 3 times throughout the day.
1. Find 2 objects that are approx. 20 feet away and relax;
2. Focus on one object for approx. 10-15 seconds, then focus on the other object for 10-15 seconds;
3. Return your focus to your monitor screen and resume working.
More exercises for the office?
See here: Exercises you can do at work