Working from home has never been easy. When the coronavirus hit the world, millions of workers globally were confined to their homes for the foreseeable future, many without the necessary equipment like ergonomic desks, keyboards or office chairs to help protect their bodies from the everyday stresses and strains of work.

 

As a result, home-working setups have been less than ideal on our bodies! Sitting on the sofa, at the dining table, or even your bed can cause a few physical aches and sprains in the short-term (remember that time you had a sore neck for a week? It’s most likely down to bad posture). 

 

However, studies have shown that working from home and sitting uncomfortably for long periods of time can cause anything from repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome to seriously debilitating skeletomuscular injuries and deep vein thrombosis. While standing desks are an option, these can be very expensive and difficult to install in a small home office.

 

This article is perfect for you if you are working from home,  experiencing aches and pains in your spine, neck or shoulders as a result of your posture, and need some gentle exercises to correct your posture and help soothe aching muscles. 

 

Here at Chiropractic Wellness Centre, we have compiled our five favourite stretches and exercises to keep you limbre and pain-free during lockdown. All the exercises below are derived from yoga stretches and are designed to be gentle, suitable for all fitness and activity levels, and easy to do whether you’re working, on break, or even in the middle of a phone call!

 

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Woman stretching on office chair

Exercise 1: Lower back extensions

This helps by: Stretching your lower back and shoulder muscles

How long does this stretch take: 30 seconds

How often should I do this stretch: 5 repetitions every hour

Instructions:

    • Stand up straight with your feet together and facing forward.
    • Place your arms at your sides, and turn your thumbs outwards.
    • Raise your arms in a circular motion above your head so that your palms are facing together.
    • Reach towards the ceiling until you feel a stretch in your stomach muscles (obliques). Hold this pose for 3 seconds before slowly returning your arms to your sides.
    • Repeat this another 4 times.

 

Asian Woman Having Arthritis Massaging Aching Neck Sitting In Bed At Home.

Exercise 2: 2×2 neck stretches

This helps by: Easing tension in your neck, reducing headaches and upper back tension

How long does this stretch take: 10-30 seconds each way

How often should I do this stretch: 5 times every hour

Instructions:

    • Sit up straight in a chair with your feet together and facing straight ahead.
    • Position 1 – let your head fall forward a little towards your chest, before extending your head back as far as you can. Hold this pose for 5 seconds, then return back to the original position. Do this twice more.
    • Position 2 – turn your head to the left as far as it will go, then hold for 3 seconds before returning to the centre. Then, repeat the step turning your head to the right, before returning again to the centre. Repeat these steps twice more, before moving to position 3.
    • Position 3 – tilt your head towards your left shoulder as far as you can, holding for 3 seconds before returning to an upright position. Do the same head tilt towards your right shoulder. Repeat this step twice.

 

Desk Stretch Exercise. Woman Stretching At Work In Office

Exercise 3: Upper back and arm stretch

This helps: Release tension in your upper back and shoulders

How long does this stretch take: 10-30 seconds

How often should I do this stretch: Twice a day

Instructions:

    • Hold your hands together with your palms facing outwards, and interlock your fingers.
    • Push both of your arms upwards, and hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.
    • Return to your original position, then repeat this stretch again twice.

 

Young businesswoman sitting on her workplace in the office and working on laptop. Creative young woman using computer in meeting room. Business woman entrepreneur working from home in smart working.

Exercise 4: Shoulder shrugs

This helps: Release tension in your shoulders, and improve posture

How long does this stretch take: 10-30 seconds

How often should I do this stretch: Twice a day

Instructions: 

    • Slowly counting to three and breathing inwards, gently lift your shoulders up towards your ears.
    • Hold this position for another three seconds, holding your breath.
    • Slowly counting to three, lower your shoulders to their original position. Breathe out calmly as your shoulders drop.
    • Repeat the steps above twice more.

 

Woman working out doing yoga or pilates exercise using chair

Exercise 5: Trunk rotations

This helps: Release tension in your lower back, spine and hips

How long does this stretch take: 10-30 seconds

How often should I do this stretch: Once a day

Instructions:

    • Sit up straight in a chair with your feet together and facing forward.
    • Rest one arm on the back of your chair.
    • Breathing deeply, twist your upper body in the direction of the arm resting on the chair.
    • Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds, before returning back to your original position.
    • Repeat the steps above with your other arm in the opposite direction.

The clinic is open for new and regular patient consultations throughout the lockdown period

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