Avoiding neck & back pain with office stretches

Poor posture and sitting for extended periods of time takes a heavy toll on our health. We’re designed to move, not sit in the same position for extended periods. Busy officeHowever it’s ‘easier said then done’ in the office environment. Rather then stop at this excuse, take control of your office environment and build in healthy habits to improve your posture & longevity.

Break up the amount of time you spend sitting at your desk. Get up for at least 3minutes every hour & perform these office stretches below. Feeling a little self-conscious in the office? Get your co-workers involved and even get your boss onside by asking them to join you. I guarantee they’ll feel refreshed and won’t be concerned about giving up 3mins of work time to invest their health.

Office stretches Set #1

Chest stretch

Raise your arm beside your body, so your elbow is as high or slightly higher then you shoulder, with your arm vertical, and place it against the corner of the wall or door frame. Relax your Pec muscles & turn your body away from your arm to stretch out your chest. Hold for 20-30s each side

Scapular retraction

Relax your shoulders and bring your shoulder blades (Scapula) back & in. Hold for 10sec, relax and repeat. You should feel the small muscles inside your scapula working as well as the exercise opening up your chest & shoulders.

Overhead reach

Lace the fingers together and turn your palms outward as you reach & stretch up above your head. Stand tall and keep your head up trying to lengthen your spine. Take 3 deep breaths & slowly lower back down.

Neck retraction (or chin tuck)

Place your finger at the front of your chin & keep it there as the start & finish position. Slowly bring your head (& chin) back horizontally from your finger and return. Repeat 10 times. This is especially useful for people who crane their neck forward due to poor posture or workstation set up.

Use this set #1 above 3 times during the day to break up extended periods of sitting at your computer (eg 11:00am, 2:00pm, & 5:00pm)

Tomorrow I’ll post a 2nd set of exercises to do no alternate days or between Office stretches #1 for additional benefits.


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