Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Desktop Exercises to Prevent Repetitive Stress Injuries

To Prevent Injuries at Your Desk Job, Just Relax

Neck strain, eye strain, back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome – you’re at risk for all these problems and more if you’re spending long, uninterrupted hours at your computer. In addition to some basic measures like setting up a more ergonomic work space and taking occasional breaks throughout the day, you can also do exercises that can help keep you flexible, relaxed, and injury free.


Hand stretches: Extend your arm directly in front of you, palm out. Gently pull each of your fingers back toward your wrist, then do all four at once to stretch the palm.


Arm/upper back stretches: Cross your right arm over your chest and place your left hand just above your elbow. Pull your arm across chest and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with your left arm. 


Lower back stretches: Stand up, put your hands on your hips, and lean back. Then slowly bend forward from the waist, letting your head and hands hang down.


Hand wiggle: Let your hands hang loose by your sides and shake them for 5-10 seconds.


Shoulder roll: Roll your shoulders forward 5 times and backward 5 times.


Eye rest: Every 30 minutes, look away from your computer screen and focus on something in the distance to let your eye muscles relax.


If you’re experiencing back pain or tingling or numbness in your hands, you may want to consult a doctor or physical therapist for treatment and advice.


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