Sitting at a desk for hours at a time can lead to pain, injury, and disability. Lack of ergonomically correct positions can lead to sore muscles in a variety of places, from neck to wrists, fingers, shoulders, back, and legs. In fact, experts say that a break of up to a half hour is recommended each day. And luckily there are stretches that you can perform during the day and in your office.
Finger stretches are a good place to start: Moving the fingers apart, keeping the wrists in alignment, and bending the knuckles, even just for ten seconds at a time, is a good, easy exercise. Reversing the direction of muscles held in one position all day is another way to think about office stretches. For example, take wrists and bend them back in the opposite way.
Necks may also get tense during the day. One stretch involves pulling the chin down to the neck in order to loosen that stress, or gently pulling your head toward each shoulder. Think about the other places in your body that hold stretch—your shoulders in particular. Simple movements—just shrugging them, or pulling arms across the body—can help. You can also pull the knees to your chest, one by one, or stand and stretch the quad gently for several seconds.
None of these stretches take much time. All of them are easy to integrate into a work day, and each will help to release stress that naturally builds up from sitting at a desk or table in an office job. This graphic outlines the steps to take and the time to hold each position.
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