Even before Covid, people have been prone to spending hours in front of a computer, either for work, school, or even just for entertainment. This is what we are going to fix here by doing some simple neck and shoulder exercises for office workers. And when we’re in front of computers, we tend to disregard our posture. Most people who sit in front of their computers all day tend to lean their necks forward. Long periods in this position are bound to give referral pain patterns. It is important to do short exercises that will get them into neck extension.
Before we even begin with exercises, there is an important thing to consider. The chairs that you or your patients use must be of the right height for the legs and back. It must have back support and elbow rests. This is important because often, an uncomfortable chair can affect our posture when we sit, which is one of the leading causes of neck and shoulder pain.
Step-by-Step Guide for the Neck and Shoulder Office Exercise
In this article, I will share with you a few easy exercises to check your range. It is important to see how comfortable you are when you go into flexion, extension, and rotation. These exercises (neck and shoulder office exercises) will help determine whether you feel any restrictions in your movement whatsoever.
For the neck:
- Sit up straight, slowly tilt your head forward, bringing your chin to the chest.
- From this position, slowly tilt your head upward, until you are looking at the ceiling.
- Return to the starting position, looking straight ahead.
- Turn your head gently to the left, then to the right. Return to the starting position.
- Lastly, slowly lower your head to your right shoulder. You should be able to do this at a 45-degree angle without any restrictions. The shoulders should not hitch up, and instead, remain still.
- Return to the starting position, and repeat, slowly tilting towards the left shoulder.
Arm ranges to check with adductions, abductions, and flexions:
- For the starting position, hold your arms out on both sides.
- Raise both hands up overhead. Repeat 5 times. this is to check elevation.
- Return to starting position. Then slowly swing your arms forward to check horizontal flexion. Repeat 5 times.
- Return to starting position, then stretch them backward to check extension. Pull your shoulders back as far you can. Repeat 5 times.
- Lastly, do figure of 8 movements.
For the elbows:
- Hold out your arms in front of you, palms up.
- Bend your elbows up towards you. Repeat this 5 times, then return to the starting position.
- Twist your arms outward gently. This is to test internal and external rotation.
- Lastly, try to do the figure of 8s movement with your elbows.
For the wrists and hands:
- You will start with the same starting position as the one from elbows. Bend your wrists upward five times.
- Then, move them from side to side.
- Lastly, do figure of 8 movements.
- Go back to starting position, then flip your hand over so that your palms are facing down.
- Bend your fingers 5 times.
- Then stretch them out, holding them apart from each other. Repeat this five times
- Lastly, try making piano movements with your fingers.
Another tip for your neck and shoulder office exercises
After these neck and shoulder office exercises, make them go through the neck ranges again, to see if they get any changes. Another tip I have today is to tuck the chin back into your neck. I always use the analogy of pretending that someone you really don’t like is coming up to you and is trying to give you a great big kiss on the chin. Naturally, you would be recoiling your head back.
- Tuck the chin in. This is the starting position.
- Hold your arms out to your sides, and then pull your shoulders back, like step 4 for the arm movements. hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat it 5 more times.
I recommend doing these 2 to 3 times every day, as doing so will give you a lot more flexibility as well as reduce the pain in your neck and shoulders. For a demonstration of the movements, please watch the video.