No matter how well a workstation is designed, problems may arise if attention is not paid to the way the work is done. Working at a computer often involves very few changes in body position. This lack of movement can lead to muscle pain and strain.
It is recommended that a person break for 5-10 minutes for every hour spent at a workstation. If possible, it is ideal to stand up and walk for this time (e.g., work tasks that involve standing, walking, or at minimum, a change of body position). Some of these stretches can be done at the same time.
1. a) Start with your hand open.
b) Make a fist. Keep your thumb straight, not tucked under your fingers.
c) Slide your finger tips up your palm so the tips of your fingers are near the base of your fingers and you should feel a stretch. Do not force your fingers with your other hand if something is painful.
2. With your hand open and facing down, gently bend wrist from side to side, as far as possible. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
3. Start by stretching your arm and hand out and slowly rotate the wrist down until you feel a stretch. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Next, rotate the palm up until you feel a stretch. Repeat 3 times.
4. Grasp your hand and hold your fingers with the other hand. Slowly bend your wrist down until you feel a stretch. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times. Then slowly bend your wrist up until you feel the stretch. Hold and relax as above.
5. Sitting with your elbows on the table and palms together, slowly lower wrists to the table until you feel a stretch (your elbows will move outward a bit). Be sure to keep your palms together throughout the stretch. Hold 5 to 7 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times.
1. Shoulder Shrug: The purpose of the shoulder shrug is to relieve early symptoms of tightness or tension in the shoulder and neck area.
2. Head Glide: The head glide helps to stretch your chest, neck and shoulder muscles.
3. Neck Relaxer: This exercise helps to relax the neck.
4. Shoulder Roll: This exercise will help relax the shoulder muscles.
5. Chest stretch: Place your hands behind your head, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
1. Back / Side Stretch:
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2. Middle / Upper Back Stretch:
3. Back Curl (will also stretch your legs):
4. Ankle Flex and Stretch:
5. Leg Lift:
6. Standing stretch: When standing, keep knees slightly bent. Place your hands on your lower back and gently push your hands forward while leaning back slightly.
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7. Hip stretch: Sit with one leg across the other. Place your arm or elbow on the outside of the crossed leg. Gently apply pressure, while looking the opposite way. Repeat with the other leg.
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Adapted from: Office Ergonomics Safety Guide, by CCOHS.
Document last updated on December 12, 2002