You’ve made a commitment to improve your health, to eat better and exercise more, but sitting at your desk in your office may be hazardous to your health. Those long periods in front of your computer can also result in poor posture, neck, shoulder, and back pain. There are some simple yet effective exercises that can be done while you work – even while at your desk.
Try these easy exercises in office to help improve that bad posture, and increase the range of motion in your neck, back and arms, and to stretch those tight muscles. As an added bonus, these office exercises may help improve your concentration and increase your productivity.
Slow Neck Circles. Start with your arms at your sides, let your chin drop to your chest then turn and tilt your head to the side and perform slow circles while breathing deeply and slowly as you rotate and circle. Perform this rotational stretch slowly for 30 seconds, then change direction and repeat for another 30 seconds.
Forward Neck Stretch. While still in a seated position stretch your neck forward and touch your chin to your chest for a slow count of ten. Relax and repeat one time.
Side Neck and Shoulder Stretch. With your right arm behind your back, tilt (lean) your head far to the left. You should feel the stretch in your right neck and right upper shoulder. Hold for ten slow deep breaths in and out, try to relax more deeply each time you exhale. Now switch arms and your direction and repeat for another slow ten breaths.
Upper Back Stretch and Neck Stretch. Place your hands behind your back with your palms facing outward away from your body. Slowly lower your chin down to your chest and take ten deep breaths in and out. Turn your head far to the right while pulling down with your left arm and hold for ten slow deep breaths. Then repeat by pulling with your right arm with your head to the left side again for ten slow deep breaths.
Slow Shoulder Rolls. Still seated at your desk, roll both shoulders forward slowly for a set of ten and then slowly back for a set of ten. Repeat once in both directions.
Seated Chair Leg Extension. While seated in your office chair, extend one leg in front of you, extend and hold for a count of ten and repeat for a set of twenty. Then switch to the opposite leg for another set of twenty.
Seated Chair Single Leg Lifts. Similar to your leg extensions but with an added leg lift. Still in a seated position, extend one leg in front of you keeping it straight and elevated, now lift and hold the extended leg up for a count of ten. Do a set of twenty for each leg.
Standing Calf Raises. Stand with hands on your desk, the wall or by the back of your chair with your back straight and shoulders squared, now lift up on your heels and squeeze and contract your calves. Vary your calf raises with your toes pointing forward, outward, or inward. Do a minimum of two sets of ten. Contract and hold each time that you are up on your toes.
Office Push-Ups. Perform your office push-ups against the wall or a heavy desk. Lean against the desk or wall at a 45-degree angle and start pushing up and down. When you are ready for an additional challenge, do your push-ups on the floor. Too easy? Try your push-ups on the floor with your feet elevated on your chair or desk.
Take time throughout the work day to try these office stretches and simple exercises to relieve stress, strengthen and stretch your neglected muscles and improve your posture.