1. Neck stretch
Working 7 hours a day hunched over a laptop isn’t just mentally demanding, but also physically catastrophic if you don’t take the time to care for your muscles and joints. Before you keel over, give these 5 exercises a try.
This one is perfect for whenever you feel a bit tight in the neck but don’t want to get up from your seat or take time away from your work.
- Sitting down (or standing up) face forward and bring one hand down to your side as if reaching for the floor.
- Keeping your back straight, gently bring your ear to your shoulder.
- For an extra stretch, rest your other hand on your head and apply a very small amount of pressure.
- Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with the opposite side.
Working all day on a laptop or computer can be especially draining on your hands. Give this stretch a try and see if you can feel the difference.
- Interlock your fingers in front of you, while seated.
- With your back straight and shoulders relaxed, reach out keeping your fingers together and your palms facing out.
- Hold and repeat.
Ensuring good posture is one of the most important habits to learn and relearn in the workplace. Here’s one to activate your upper spine on a lunch break or before you get comfortable at your desk.
- Find a wall, and stand next to it with a comfortable distance to move properly (about a ruler length from the wall). Don’t face the wall – just look straight ahead.
- Reach around and place both your hands on the wall just behind you at shoulder height .
- Use your hips to turn and stretch. Keep your feet fixed. Breathe in and exhale.
- As you stretch – feel the ribcage opening up.
- Alternate sides and complete 5-10 rounds.
This is as simple as it sounds. Reach down and attempt to touch your feet. You can do this one either sitting or standing, but be careful not to jerk down too fast or likewise come up too quickly. Try to feel each vertebra as your spine straightens up. Don’t forget to breathe as you complete the stretch, and hold for about 10 seconds when you’re at the bottom.
Repetitive movements in and around the office like clicking, typing, stapling and making phone calls can tire out the arm very quickly. The following stretch will loosen up your upper arm.
- Place your hand on your upper back with your elbow in the air
- Use your other hand to apply pressure to the bent elbow, pushing in a direction back behind you. You should feel the tightness as you pull your elbow back.
- Swap sides and repeat. Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds before switching.
- Stand up desk. These are becoming more popular as workplaces become savvier about health and well-being in the office. This will work wonders for your circulation and endurance. Try starting 50% standing and 50% sitting until you work out a good balance. A desk that does both is ideal.
- Make your home office as comfortable as possible. These days working from home is more common than ever before. Making your home work-friendly and be sure to set yourself clear boundaries. It’s easy to blur the lines between your personal and business life when both happen under the same roof.
- Take regular breaks (outside). Catching a breath of fresh air is so important – even if it’s to grab a coffee or lie down in a park. You’ll feel less stressed throughout the day if you take the time for yourself.
If you can’t shake off an ache or irritation, google: ‘physio near me’ and book an appointment with your local physiotherapist to get to the root of the problem. Your body will thank you!