Effective

Exercises

 at

Your Desk

Sitting in front of a computer every day can wreak havoc on your body, especially since most of us don't have the best posture.
Hunching the shoulders and slumping in your seat can cause back pain, headaches, tension, and tightness in your back, neck, and shoulders.
Studies show that regular stretching can help reduce neck and shoulder pain and they also show that regular breaks to stand and stretch increases productivity at the office.
Not only do you reduce pain and tension, but those flexibility breaks allow your eyes to rest and your entire body to feel more comfortable.

The habits we build at our desk, especially while sitting, can contribute to discomfort and health issues, including:

The good news is that moving or stretching is a buildable habit. For starters, you can set a timer to remind you to take a quick walk or stretch. If you’re pressed for time, there are even certain stretches you can do at your desk. Scroll down for the tutorial on working out those computer kinks.

The following flexibility exercises are designed for office workouts with an emphasis on the neck, back, shoulders, hips, and glutes.

Do them as often as you can, and you'll notice less tightness and possibly even more productivity.


How To:
Hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds.
Apply breathing techniques during the stretch 
Avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.
Do as many reps as you can and enjoy!

Stretching out your legs and knees

Hip and knee flexion stretch

• Sit on the chair with your back straight.

Push the soles of your feet together in front of you.

As you pull your heels toward you, relax your knees and allow them to inch closer to the floor.

Take a deep breath and hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

Hamstrings stretch

• Sit on the chair with both legs out straight.

• Extend your arms and reach forward by bending at the waist as far as possible while keeping your knees straight.

• Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.

• Relax back into the starting position.

• Repeat three times.

Stretching out your arms

Triceps stretches

• Raise your arm and bend it so that your hand reaches toward the opposite side.

• Use your other hand and pull the elbow toward your head.

• Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

• Repeat on the other side

Overhead reach, or latissimus stretch

• Extend each arm overhead.

• Reach to the opposite side.

• Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

• Repeat on the other side.

Upper body and arm stretch

• Clasp hands together above the head with palms facing outward.

• Push your arms up, stretching upward.

• Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

Stretching out your torso

Shoulder, or pectoralis stretch

Stretching the chest may be one of the best exercises you can do for your body since most of us spend much of our time hunched forward.

For this exercise, you can use a resistance band and take it overhead to get a deeper stretch of the chest muscles. If you don't have a band, don't worry. Just place your fingers together or take the arms straight out to the sides.


Do It Right

• Clasp hands behind your back.

• Push the chest outward and raise the chin.

• Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds.

Forward stretch

While the shoulder shrugs will help get the circulation going, this upper back stretch will get all the muscles between the shoulder blades as well as the traps and the shoulders.

Just think how tight your shoulders and upper back are right now and you'll make this stretch your go-to stretch all day long.


Do It Right

This stretch is also known as the rhomboid upper or upper backstretch.

• Clasp your hands in front of you and lower your head in line with your arms.

• Press forward and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

Spinal Twist

This twisting stretch will help gently work out some of that tension.  Don't go too far on this — you only need to rotate a little to feel this stretch.


Do It Right

• In a seated position with the feet flat on the floor, contract the abs and gently rotate the torso towards the right, using your hands on the chair handles to help deepen the stretch.

• Only twist as far as you comfortably can and keep the back straight while keeping the hips square.

• Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Tip: Exhale as you lean into the stretch for a greater range of motion.

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