1. Seated spinal rotation
- While seated, cross your arms over your chest.
- Grab your shoulders.
- Rotate your upper body from the waist, turning gently from left to right as far as you can.
- You should feel a tension on both side of your lower back as it stretches out.
- Hold for three to five seconds and repeat three to five times.
2. Posterior shoulder stretch
- Hold one arm across your body.
- Pull your elbow into your chest.
- You should feel your shoulder gently stretching.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
3. Shoulder rolls
- Gently bring your shoulders up and roll them backwards.
- Let them slowly fall down.
- You should feel tension being released as your shoulders drop.
- Repeat this movement five to six times.
4. Sitting back extensions
- Sit straight with your feet together.
- Put the palms of your hands into the small of your back.
- Lean back over your hands, feeling your lower back stretch out.
- Repeat this exercise three to five times.
5. Neck rotations
- Keep your head upright.
- Gently turn your head from side to side.
- As you turn your head, try to move it past your shoulder.
- You should feel the muscles on the outside of your neck gradually stretching.
- Hold this stretch for three to five seconds and repeat three to five times.
6. Upper shoulder and neck stretch
- Sit on one hand.
- Tilt your head away from the hand you’re sitting on.
- Tilt your head slightly forward, towards your shoulder.
- You should feel the muscles in your neck and shoulder being stretched.
- Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
- Repeat three times on each side.
7. Backward shoulder extension
- Stand up and stretch your arms out behind you.
- Clasp your hands together and gently lift your arms.
- You should feel the pressure in your shoulders ease.
- Hold this movement for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.
8. Overhead shoulder extension
- Hold both arms above your head.
- Link your hands with your palms facing upwards.
- Reach as high as possible.
- You should feel your shoulders stretching.
- Hold this stretch for three to five seconds, repeating three to five times.
9. Making sure you’re sitting properly
Stretching at your desk throughout the day can help to reduce muscle tightness and strain. But, it’s also important to sit properly. This can help to prevent back pain and other musculoskeletal problems. The tips below can help you set up your workstation.
- The top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes.
- Your screen should be around an arms-length away from you.
- Your keyboard should be below your elbows.
- Sit right back in your seat, so your lower back is supported by your chair.
- Your seat should be at a height that supports your thighs at the front and back.
Keep items within reach
Arrange your desk so that things are each to reach. Otherwise, if you need to lean across your desk a lot, this can cause strain on your muscles. And, you won’t get the same back support from your chair.
Take a break
It’s important to take short, regular breaks throughout the day. This can help to reduce muscle tightness and strain. Try to:
- regularly stretch your hands, wrists, and fingers
- give your eyes a break every 20 minutes, by looking into the distance for 20 seconds
- every 20 minutes or so try to stand up and move
Article by Emma Mitchell
Here, Bupa Physiotherapist Mike Livesey, demonstrates a good workstation setup and some desk stretches to try at home. see Video link