Working from home? Make sure you move and stretch regularly every 30 min throughout the day to help reduce stress and stiffness that may build up from a new working-from-home set-up. A good tip is to set an alarm on your phone or a reminder program on your computer, every 30-45 minutes.
It is crucial to break up prolonged periods of sitting and static postures with short bursts of activity. This can be done through small amounts of walking around lunch time, walking on the spot, moving around the house or going up and down the stairs.
Simple stretches and mobility exercises can be built up into your working day, avoiding and easing the aches and pains associated with sitting or static standing for long periods and being sedentary. You can download a PDF showing you good desk stretches here!
Remember whilst stretching you should not feel pain. If you do, please stop and consult your physiotherapist or osteopath to modify as needed.
Neck Flexion: Bend head forward, holding gently with your hands and gradually stretching out the upper part of the neck. Keep the back and shoulder regions as upright as possible to stretch the muscles at the back of the neck. Hold 15-20 seconds.
Neck Side-Flexion: Place palm of right hand above left ear. Keep the nose pointing forward while you gently pull the head to the right, stretching the side of neck. Keep the shoulder leveled. You should feel the stretch to your neck on the same side of your hand. Hold 15-20 seconds and then repeat to the other side.
Shoulder and Chest stretch
Standing in good posture, clasp your hands behind your back (over chair back if seated) and squeeze your shoulder blades together, keeping a long neck and engaging your tummy muscles. It can be more effective if you raise your arms up slightly away from your buttocks. Hold the contraction and relax or hold this for 15-30 seconds, then relax. Repeat up to 3 times.
Thoracic rotation stretch
Sitting with your feet flat on the floor and your knees pointing forward. Cross your arms in front of your chest and rotate to the side till the point of stretch. Remember to keep the knees pointing forward and do not rotate the neck. Hold for few minutes, slowly return to the starting position and repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 times
Lumbar Extension: Stand up in good posture and place your hands on your back at hip level, elbows pointing straight behind you. Using your hands for support, slowly extend backward. Start stretching gently. Repeat 3 times
Trunk Side bend: Stand sideways to a wall with feet hip width apart and in good posture. Place left hand on the wall (straight elbow) and stretch right arm up over head to your left. Hold 15-20 seconds, slowly return to start position and repeat to the opposite side. This stretches the side of the spine and spinal muscles.
“Wall snow angel” to stretch the shoulders and chest. Stand against a wall with feet about 4’’ away from the wall and with the bum, shoulder blades and back of your arms and forearms against the wall, palms facing forward. Keeping your back straight, engage your core muscles and looking straight ahead, slowly slide your arms up and then down as if you’re doing a snow angel. Repeat 3 times.
You can find other Desk exercises from the the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Seek advice from our team of Physiotherapists and Osteopaths
Our team at Physio For All is here to help you with any postural issues related with screen time as back and neck pain.
Our Physiotherapists are specialised in Posture assessment & correction and can give you ergonomics advice for your desk setting at your office or home.
Our Physiotherapists and Osteopaths are available for remote video consultations and Office or Home Visits. During the Covid-19 lockdown period face to face” appointments are only for urgent cases. We are following strict health & safety guidelines to provide essential treatment at the Practice or Home Visits.