One of the issues from prolonged sitting or an inadequate desk set-up is developing poor posture, resulting in pain in the wrists, neck, back and hips as we hunch forward or lean into some regions of the body. It is essential to make time to counteract that with some simple but highly effective stretches that can be performed seated or standing. In this article, Chiropractor Guthrie Steer outlines 5 desk stretches to ease aches and pains when working from home.
Seated Neck Stretches
Sit straight on a chair with your feet flat.
Reach down with your right hand & take a firm hold of the side of the chair.
Drop the right shoulder & gently tip your left ear towards the left shoulder.
Once you feel a slight resistance on the right side of the neck, tuck your chin down slightly – this should increase the stretching sensation. Hold each stretch within your comfort for about 10 seconds or 3 slow breaths and repeat this 3 times on each side.
Seated Tx Mobilisations
Push your chair slightly back from your desk & place your elbows and forearms on the table before you.
Sit with your feet flat and your hands lightly together.
Tuck your chin down towards your chest & round the top of the back so you feel your shoulder blades moving away from one another.
Be careful not to hitch your shoulders.
Hold this position for 2 breaths, then reverse the posture by taking the chest forward and drawing the chin backwards while maintaining a horizontal gaze.
Also, hold this posture for 2 breaths.
Slowly transition between these positions and repeat the cycle 10 times. Check out this YouTube video for guidance on TX seated mobilisations.
Semi Supported Squats
A kitchen sink is ideal for standing squarely at a stable, fixed-height object for support.
Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart at a comfortable distance from whatever you have chosen.
Take hold of the support and bend your knees as if sitting on a chair behind you.
Stay as upright as you can in your spine, maintain a horizontal gaze and breathe in as you sit back. Breathe out as you stand back up again.
Repeat the cycle 10 times.
Semi Supported Lunges
Standing parallel to a stable surface for support, such as a kitchen unit or table, take a medium-sized step forward & bend both of your knees.
Your front knee should not go beyond the line of your toes, and you should try to maintain a horizontal gaze.
Standing as upright as you can, tuck your tailbone under and forward until you feel resistance on the top section of the leg behind you.
Hold this position for 3 slow, deep breaths and repeat 3 times on each side.
Stand straight with your tailbone tucked slightly under, arms raised to 90º from the floor with your elbows bent to 90º, so your hands point at the ceiling with the palms facing forwards.
From this start point, slowly lift the hands so that the arms point straight upwards at the top of the movement with the palms facing forward.
The key with this exercise is keeping the elbows, wrists & shoulders aligned through the movement – the movement should be performed with the forearms parallel to your body throughout – as if you are acting a mime of a piece of glass up and over your head.
Learn more about how to set up your home workspace with our NEW guide to avoiding stress & strain on your body.
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