If you have to be at a desk all day long, there are some simple stretches and exercises that you can do. To improve your overall ergonomic health, such as posture and blood circulation, and to avoid strain or injury like blood clots or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, try the following techniques.
- Shoulders: Roll your shoulders forward 10 times, then backward. This helps release tension.
- Arms and Shoulders: Brace your hands on the edge of your desk, each about a shoulder width away from your body. Twist your hands in so they point towards your body and lean forward, hunching your shoulders.
- Chest: To counter a hunching posture, open your arms wide as if you are going to hug someone, rotate your wrists with thumbs going up and back, then pull your shoulders back. This is a good stretch across your upper chest.
- Abdomen: Contract your abdominal muscles and hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this for a few minutes throughout the day while you are working at your desk.
- Wrists: Roll your wrists regularly every hour or so: 10 times clockwise, then 10 times counterclockwise. This helps prevent carpal syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing.
- Calves: While sitting, lift up your heels, so your weight is on the balls of your feet, then lower them. Repeat until your legs are comfortably tired. This exercises your calves and helps prevent blood blots from developing in your legs.
- Ankles: Roll your ankles in a clockwise motion three times, then counterclockwise. This helps improve blood circulation and avoids that “pins and needles” feeling.