In our increasingly technology-driven world, more employees find themselves utilizing a computer to complete their job duties. Many employees exclusively use a computer to complete their work. That’s 8+ hours per day staring at a screen, with your head and neck in the same position! Ouch!
If you find yourself hunched in front of your computer screen for more hours than you’d like to admit, you may be at increased risk for:
- Neck pain
- Radiating pain
- Numbness or tingling in the upper extremities
- Tight neck and upper back muscles
- Poor posture
The bad news: it does not appear our society’s emphasis on computers and technology is diminishing anytime soon.
The good news: there IS something you can do to prevent chronic conditions and reduce the long-term effects of working at a computer.
The following exercises are designed to stretch tight muscles created from prolonged positioning in front of a computer and strengthen weak neck/back muscles for improved posture and positioning. (Disclaimer: As always, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before initiating any new exercise regime).
5 Simple Exercises Every Office Worker Should Perform:
- Chin tucks – Sit tall with shoulders relaxed down and back. Jut chin forward slightly, then pull chin and head back (gently) so head sits directly over spine. Hold 5 seconds. Complete 10 reps.
- Shoulder blade squeezes – Sit tall with shoulders relaxed down and back. Gently squeeze shoulder blades together as if trying to touch elbows behind back. Hold 5 seconds. Complete 10 reps.
- Pec doorway stretch – Find a doorway or corner. Place hands on either side of door frame (or wall) at shoulder height. Stand tall with back straight. Step forward with one foot and gently push chest forward until stretch is felt across the front of the chest (pecs). Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Upper trapezius stretch – Sit tall with shoulders relaxed down and back. Tilt head to left so left ear is nearing left shoulder. Place left hand over head and give gentle over pressure. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Repeat stretch on opposite side.
- Levator scapulae stretch – Sit tall with shoulders relaxed down and back. Rotate head towards left shoulder, then look down towards left arm pit. Place left hand over head and give gentle over pressure. Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Repeat stretch on opposite side.
- Take frequent breaks from computer work to complete these exercises.
- Once every hour is recommended, but more frequently should you begin to notice discomfort from prolonged positioning.
- Of course, listen to your body and complete exercises gently. They should not be painful or aggravate existing symptoms!
For more information on posture, ergonomics, and injury prevention in the workplace, schedule a consultation with a physical therapist at: www.longevitybrainbody.com/book or contact: [email protected].