Don’t invent a new musculoskeletal injury – Prevent it.
Perform the following exercises at your desk to prevent discomfort and injury. Long, stressed hours at your desk can create tight muscles, stiff joints, and decrease circulation. These exercises will relax muscles, increase joint range of motion, and improve circulation.
Bottom Line: Practice each exercise 3 times (unless otherwise stated) and feel better and be more productive.
*Stop exercise if you feel pain beyond mild discomfort and consult a licensed medical professional.
- Rolling: Close eyes and slowly roll them in circles to the top, bottom, and side to side.
- Focusing: Look away from computer screen. Focus on an object at least 20 feet away. Look back at computer, and repeat every 30 minutes.
Head and Neck
- Tip: Tuck in chin and gently move head to left, return to center, and move head to right.
- Turn: Tuck in chin and gently turn head and look over shoulder while stretching upward.
- Drop: Slowly lower head toward chest. Relax 3 seconds. Slowly raise head. Stretch upward.
- While sitting up straight, extend neck and back by stretching head straight up. Pretend a cable is attached to top of head. Feel the cable slowly pull you up higher and higher. Hold for 3 seconds. Relax.
- Shrug: Slowly raise shoulders toward ears. Hold for 1 – 2 seconds. Lower shoulders. Relax.
- Squeeze: Raise arms out to sides with palms facing forward. Squeeze shoulder blades together. Pretend a quarter is between shoulder blades and keep it in place. Hold for 3 seconds. Relax.
- Stretch: Lock hands behind head and extend elbows out to sides. Hold for 3 seconds. Relax.
- Shake: While standing or sitting, drop arms to sides. Gently shake arms and hands for 3 – 5 seconds. Relax.
- Rotation: While sitting or standing, drop arms to sides. Rotate hands so that the back of hands face each other. Hold for 3 seconds. Rotate hands so that the palms face each other. Hold for 3 seconds. Relax.
- Circles: Hold arms out to sides. Slowly rotate arms in small circles. Rotate forward 3 – 5 repetitions and backward 3 – 5 repetitions. Lower arms. Relax.
- Arm Massage: Extend arms in front of you. Grasp right arm at elbow with left hand so that the thumb is against the inside of elbow. Gently compress arm with hand moving from elbow to wrist. Repeat on the other arm.
- With wrists in front of body, make gentle fists. Slowly point hands downward so the knuckles face the floor. Hold for 3 seconds. Straighten fingers and point them down. Slowly point fingers upward. Hold for 3 seconds. Relax.
Hands and Fingers
- Massage the inside and outside of the hand using the thumb and fingers of other hand. Gently squeeze thumb and fingers starting at the palm region and gradually moving to the end of the fingers. Massage area between fingers. Repeat on other hand.
- Finger Fan: Hold hands out in front of body with palms down. Spread fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for 5 seconds, then make a fist. Relax. Repeat on other hand.
- While sitting in a chair, slowly rotate one foot at the ankle joint clockwise then counterclockwise. Rotate 3 – 5 times in each direction. Relax. Repeat with other foot.
Does you head and shoulder round forward at your work station?
Contact your human resources department and schedule an Ergonomic Assessment today!
There are options to reduce pain, prevent injury, increase productivity, and feel good:
Try the new and emerging collection of standing and treadmill desks at SitLess!
A knowledgeable and experienced Workplace Wellness Solutions Specialist will guide you through each step to find the best fit for you.
Nintendo of America (2016). Ergonomic Task Force.