Workstation Stretches Anyone Can Do

For those of us who have spent more time on video conferencing the last few years than we ever imagined, keeping active at your desk can be a real pain in the neck... and back... and shoulders... And you can't always get up and go for a walk when duty calls on-screen. There's good news, though: There are plenty of simple exercises that you can do at your workstation, from stretches to strength, and your co-workers might not even notice some of them!

Sitting and typing all day can make your wrists and hands sore. Gentle wrist circles in one direction, then the other, can work out some of the kinks. Then, holding your arm out straight, gently pull your fingers back and feel the stretch on the inside of your palm and wrist. Do it the other way, and feel a stretch along the back of your wrist. Then, you can massage your hand and wrist using gentle pressure from the thumb of your opposite hand. Finally, shake your fingers out and let them go all floppy to wake them up.

For aching necks, start with a gentle circle of the head. Don't yank, crunch, or wrench your head, just let it hang and roll from side to side, feeling the stretch wherever it appears. Look down at your chest and feel the lengthening along the back of your spine, or look up and feel it along the front of your throat. you can even make big, exaggerated chewing motions to further stretch tight scalene muscles. (Plus, that look is fun on Zoom calls, and your co-workers will appreciate it!)

Finally, tight shoulders and upper backs can be helped with shoulder rolls, both in towards your monitor, and back and away. Each time, imagine that you are lengthening your upper back and tucking your shoulder blades into your back pockets. You can tilt your head to one side and gently lay your hand on your head, easing into the stretch. But, remember, don't pull! Be gentle.

These simple stretches can help make your back, neck, and hands feel a little less tight. But don't forget to get up and move, too!