Time for a stretch!

By David Ronan – Physiotherapist

Whilst on the whole we have embraced working from home, it seems many of us are now spending more time at our desks and less time moving.

Having an ergonomic workstation setup and moving around every 30-45 minutes is the best way to try and avoid getting muscle pain and tension from prolonged desk work, however it is still good to have a few simple desk-based exercises to prevent muscle tension.

The following are a few quick stretches you can do throughout the day to help minimize those niggling pains.

Desk set up at home

Not everyone will have the perfect setup at home and for short periods of time it’s appropriate to make the best of what you have.

For those using a laptop at home the easiest thing you can do to dramatically improve your setup is to get an external keyboard and mouse to be used at desk level, and raise the laptop up on a box or something similar.

Shoulder blade squeezes

Try and squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for about 5 seconds. This opens up your posture and gets blood flowing to muscles that have been static for long periods.

Forward stretch

This is the opposite movement to above and is a nice way to feel a stretch through your upper back muscles. Try and do immediately after the previous stretch for maximum benefit.

Neck stretch

Gently lean your head laterally and slightly forward to feel a nice stretch through neck muscles on the opposite side.

Hip Flexor stretches

Prolonged sitting can cause your hip flexors to become tight which can affect your lower back. A nice way to counter this is the stretch shown above, the stretch should be felt through the upper part of the thigh on the back leg.