Aches and pains are inevitable if you spend your days sitting at a desk.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your pain without completely giving up your desk. These five exercises, recommended by physical therapist and athletic trainer Sam Chan and personal trainer Vaugh Gray, can help you gain more mobility and reduce tension and stiffness in your neck, wrists, hands, spine, and lower body. Chan explains that the goal of these workouts is to mobilize the soft tissues while also producing dynamic movements that will improve blood flow.
5 Mobility Moves for Desk Workers
Upper trap stretch
This works on your neck’s outside upper trapezius muscle. The purpose of sitting on your hand, according to Chan, is to lock down that shoulder and prevent it from lifting so that we can really stretch that muscle from both ends. Three times through, holding each for five seconds.
These controlled articular rotations (CARs), which target your neck and upper back, are basically neck circles. The goal is to make contact at every neck level between the vertebrae and the neck, Chan explains, “truly opening up and producing that pressure inside the spine.” Perform gently three to five times in each direction.
Median nerve Floss
Chan adds, “We’re going to utilize this exercise to mobilize the nerve.” The carpal tunnel is a structure through which the median nerve passes. Perhaps you’ve heard of carpal tunnel syndrome. When using a keyboard or a desk, you often suffer from this injury. As elastic structures, nerves are mobilized and stretched by this action. Bend your hand in the apposite direction to add stress at the wrist and neck to make it more of a challenge.
Time to pay attention to your back. Creating a beautiful back bend posture to counteract all the forward sitting you’ve been doing at your computer, Chan added, “This is a terrific exercise simply to really open up the chest again, extending out those anterior fibers in the chest.” Take long, deep breaths.
To loosen up the muscles in the posterior chain, try this wonderful stretch at the rear of your thigh and hamstring. Chan advises adding a little rotation to this stretch to increase it by rotating your foot in and out to put the sciatic nerve under a little amount of beneficial strain.
“We’re done now. These five activities may help you feel healthy, stress-free, and mobile even if you are unable to leave the workplace,” says Chan.