Desk workers have a tendency to develop poor, slumped posture and tech neck due to the placement of desk components such as the chair, computer, and the desktop itself, repetitive movements, and the long-sustained time spent in these seated positions.
If you’re newly working from home and your body isn’t used to being seated all day, or even if you’ve worked a desk job for years and all of the time has taken its toll on your posture, incorporating a few deskside stretches and exercises can help improve posture, reduce pain and tension, and help you feel refreshed even during long days.
1. Spinal Rotation
A simple move that breaks up stiff posture, perform a spinal rotation by holding onto your chair’s right armrest with your left hand and your right hand on the back of the chair. Gently pull your torso to rotate to the right, allowing the tension to dissipate in your back. Repeat this process on the other side.
2. Shoulder Shrugs
Shoulder shrugs can help identify and release tension that can build up around the shoulders from repetitive movements like typing and mouse-clicking as well as from poor seated posture.
First, tense up your shoulders and bring them as high as they can go, up toward your ears. Hold for a few seconds. Then, actively release all of the tension and let your shoulders drop loosely. Repeat this a few times until your shoulders feel more relaxed.
3. Back Extension
Without proper lumbar support in office chairs, it’s easy to develop a slouched posture that can put a lot of strain on the lower back. To counteract this, place your hands on the small of your back with your thumbs facing downward on either side of your torso. Bring your elbows backward and arch your back to create a curve from your head to the base of your spine.
Release the position, and then repeat 3-4 times.
4. Bruegger Exercise
The Bruegger exercise is a great way to activate your phasic muscles, which spend most of the time flexed in a forward position. This exercise utilizes muscles that externally rotate the shoulders to counteract the muscles that pull the head and shoulders forward.
Assume the beginning position by extending the arms out on either side and rotating the hands so that the thumbs are pointing backward and the forearms are facing up. Create tension in this position and move the hands backward, rotating the shoulders externally. Hold in this position for a second or two before returning to the starting position. This can be repeated as much as is needed.
5. Chest Opener
Open the chest and stretch out the pectoral muscles by clasping your hands behind your back and slowly straightening your elbows to stretch the chest out and create more space within your pectoral muscles. Hold for a few seconds, shake it out, and repeat.
6. Figure 4 Stretch
The Figure 4 stretch brings the muscles of your legs some attention as well. Find an upright seated position and then cross one ankle over the other knee. The ankle should be pressing into the top of the knee. Keep the knee of the crossed leg active, slightly pressing down to create a flag plane with your bent leg. Place your hands on your legs and slowly bend down, bring your face toward your legs. Feel the stretch in your glutes and your hamstring, hold for a moment, and then release. Repeat on both sides as needed.
Correcting Posture Problems at Their Core
Posture issues can be greatly improved with regular stretching and exercise, but if you’re still struggling with pain, discomfort, or tension associated with poor workspace posture, there may be an underlying issue causing it.
Meeting with a chiropractor can help identify any misalignments that may be impacting your posture and help develop a natural care plan to relieve pain and correct posture once and for all.
To make an appointment with our expert posture chiropractors, contact Sea Change Wellness Chiropractic in St. Petersburg, FL, at (727) 521-4244.