Working a desk job can do significant damage to your body if you are not careful. People who work desk jobs with poor posture and the same monotonous motions daily are at a much higher risk of developing or worsening musculoskeletal conditions.
Fortunately, there is an easy thing you can do to help alleviate some of the symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders or even prevent them from occurring in the first place. It’s as simple as stretching throughout the day.
These stretches can become part of your daily routine at work and you can set a timer to keep you moving throughout the day. It’s important to remember not to hold your breath when stretching. Breathe normally and do not push yourself.
Here are 6 simple stretches you can do at your desk to save you from pain.
1. Triceps stretch: This stretch can be completed easily at your desk. You simply raise your arm and bend your hand to the opposite side of your body using the other hand to inch your elbow towards your head. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
2. Overhead stretch: This stretch is completed by lengthening your arms over your head and stretching towards the opposite side. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Upper body and arm stretch: For this stretch you are going to grasp your hands together and reach above your head with the palms of your hands placed outward. Now extend your arms up and continue to stretch them upwards. Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds.
4. Shoulder stretch: Grasp your hands together behind your back and move your chest up and out while raising your chin up. Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds.
5. Forward stretch: This stretch focuses on the upper back. To begin, grasp your hands together in front of your body. Put your head down so that it is even with your arms and press your hands down and forward. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
6. Torso stretch: You can perform this stretch while sitting by placing your feet flat on the ground facing straight forward. Turn your upper body towards the back of your chair while resting your arm on the back of the chair, then repeat on the other side and hold for up to 30 seconds.
Remember to breathe while you are stretching and exhale as you go deeper into each stretch to increase your range of motion.
Stretching daily while at work can help decrease discomfort without interfering with your productivity.
Here are some other easy tips to keep you moving throughout the day at your desk job:
- Stand up during lunch and while making phone calls
- Get a standing desk or other ergonomic furniture
- Walk around the office while chatting with coworkers
- Set a timer to remind yourself to move every hour
These are all great ways to keep you healthy and require very minimal effort.
Start incorporating these stretches and tips throughout your work day and you should see an improvement from your discomfort.