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10 Simple Desk Stretches

Sitting at your desk can literally be a pain in the neck --or back.

But why is that? The answer is posture.

Slumping down into your chair or slouching forward over your keyboard means your spine is out of alignment, putting strain on the ligaments and muscles in your back. Studies show that most people’s muscles start to fatigue after just 15 minutes in an upright position. Once those muscles begin to fatigue you assume the slouching or slumping position putting stress on your neck, back, and shoulders.


What is the remedy for this pain?


We asked one of our physical therapists that same question and her answer was:


10 simple exercises that help relieve the pain and strengthen those muscles.


1. The Chin Tuck:

•Sit or stand, looking forward, with good posture.

•Tuck chin in.

•Return to start position.

Special Instructions:

To progress, place a finger on your chin, apply backward pressure.

Perform 3 sets of 20 Repetitions.



2. The Neck Tilt

•Sit or stand with good posture.

•Looking straight ahead bend neck sideways, moving ear toward shoulder.

•Return to start position.

•Repeat in the other direction.

Special Instructions:

Move in a pain-free range.

Perform 3 sets of 20 Repetitions.


3. Shoulder Rolls

•Stand or sit, raise shoulders upward toward ears, and roll backward

•Return to start position.

Perform 3 sets of 20 Repetitions.


4. The Head Turn

•Sit in chair with good posture, back supported.

•Turn head to right, then left.

Special Instructions:

Stay in painfree range.

Perform 3 sets of 20 Repetitions


5. Chin to Chest

•Sit or stand with good posture.

•Move chin down to chest.

•Return to start position.

Special Instructions:

Move in painfree range.

Perform 3 sets of 20 Repetitions


6. Sun Salute


•Begin with hands in front of the chest as shown.

•Keeping hands together, bring elbows together, while raising arms up.

•As elbows straighten, separate hands, and rotate them outward.

•While bringing shoulder blades together, pulling arms back and downward.

•Return to start position and repeat.

Perform 3 sets of 20 Repetitions, once a day.


7. Lat and Obliques Stretch

•Raise right arm overhead behind head, holding with left arm.

•Bend knees slightly to provide better balance.

•Pull arm as you bend trunk to left.

•Repeat with other side.

Perform 1 set of 4 Repetitions.


8. Side of the Neck Stretch

•Place right arm over and behind side of head.

•Bend neck to left, looking downward to left.

•Repeat with other side.

Special Instructions:

For more stretch, place other hands on top of the head to assist in pulling the head downward.

Perform 1 set of 4 Repetitions


9. Upper Trapezius Stretch

•Place right arm behind the back.

•Grasp arm with the left hand as shown.

•Bend neck sideways to left as you pull your right arm.

•Repeat for the other side.

Perform 1 set of 4 Repetitions, twice a day.


10. Doorway Pectoral Stretch


•Stand in the doorway or in the corner.

•Place arms at chest level on sides of the doorway as shown.

•Gently step forward, keeping back straight.

•Return to start position.

Special Instructions:

Place both hands at waist level or at head level to stretch different portions of the muscle.


Perform 1 set of 4 Repetitions





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