Sitting has become a much larger part of our lives than it was ever intended to be. Many desk workers at the office, and now at home, report tension and pain in their necks, shoulders and wrists. This can be caused by poor posture and lead to chronic pain.
To counteract the effect working a sedentary job can have on your body, many occupational therapists and other professionals recommend stretches, many of which you can do at your desk, to release that tension and bring your spine back into alignment. Here are five examples.
Put your arms behind your back and interlace your fingers. Lift your arms up until you feel your shoulders spread and your chest open up. Hold position for 30 seconds.
Hold onto the chair with your right hand and tilt your head to the left until you feel a gentle stretch in your neck. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, using your left hand to hold your head in place if necessary, then switch to the other side.
Put your feet flat on the floor, contract your ab muscles and rotate your upper body to the right, putting your left hand on your outer right knee. Put your right arm over the back of your chair and stretch as far as is comfortable. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat motion to the left.
Sit in the back of your seat and rest on the backrest. Put your palms behind your head and lean backwards over your chair, keeping your elbows wide until you feel your back and neck stretching. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
Wrist flexor and extensor
Extend your right arm in front of you. Point your hand from the wrist down to the floor and use your left hand to pull it back until you feel a stretch up your arm. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch to the other hand, and repeat on both sides while pointing your hand from your wrist up to the ceiling.