When you start feeling tension on your shoulders and start experiencing a stiff neck after sitting hunched on your desk, you ought to take a break and do the following four exercises to alleviate the pain.
Behind the Back Neck Stretch
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides
- Reach behind your back and grasp your right wrist with your left hand. With the left hand, gently straighten the right arm and pull it slightly away from you
- To increase the stretch in your neck, tilt your head to the left towards the shoulder
- Take deep breaths inhaling with your nose and letting the air out through the mouth slowly
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then switch sides
Seated Clasping Neck Stretch
- While sitting, bring your palms together in a clasp and bring both your palms to the back of your head. Ensure that your spine is straight
- Without curving your spine, gently press your head towards your thighs and tuck your chin into your chest
- With your arms resting below your head, gently pull your head away from your shoulders to intensify the stretch
- While breathing in deeply through your nose and letting out through the mouth gently, hold the move for a minimum of 30 seconds
- Slowly lift up your head and unclasp your hands
Reverse Arch Stretch
- Sit at the edge of your chair and reach your hands behind you and hold on to the back of the chair
- Tilt your head back and press your chest forward and arch your spine
- Breathe slowly and deeply and hold the pose for at least 30 seconds then lift up your head and let go of the back of the chair
- Sit with your back straight and extend your spine to the ceiling
- Roll your shoulders in a clockwise direction and hold for at least 10 counts
- Roll your shoulders in the anti-clockwise direction for another 10 counts
- Pull your shoulders back and in towards your back’s midline and ensure to keep the tops of your shoulders relaxed.
- Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds
These exercises can be done at the comfort of your office or cubicle. You will be able to relieve the pain in your neck and shoulders while maintaining a healthy posture. You can also take five minutes every hour to walk around the office.