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Sitting at the desk and working on the computer for longer periods of time can sometimes lead to aching muscles. Some people develop certain health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome or stiff body parts. If you follow correct exercises and techniques, then you can avoid contracting any or all office-related injuries. Simple exercises like taking a 10 minute walk every couple of hours can really help avoid issues concerning your health. But if you can't spare that much time, or don't wish to leave your desk, then these stretches might come in handy.

Temple Exercise

Place your elbows on the desk, and your hands over your temples. Slowly make small circular movements, and rub the temples in a clockwise and anti-clockwise manner. Take deep breaths as you do this exercise 10―15 times on both sides.

Neck Stretch

Take a deep breath, raise both shoulders, and touch your ears. Keep the shoulders up, and push them back as far as you can. Exhale, and relax the shoulders. Repeat this exercise 5 times. For another neck stretch exercise, you will inhale and gently turn your head on the left side till you can feel the muscles stretched. Hold the pose for 5 seconds, and exhale as you bring your head back to first position. Repeat the exercise on the other side.

Shoulders and Back Stretch

Sit straight in your chair, and place both the hands behind your head. Place the hands tightly in position, and slowly pull the elbow back. Take them as far as possible (make sure you don't sprain anything, just go till your body permits), and hold for 5 seconds. Release the elbows, and bring them back to relaxing position. Repeat the exercise as many times as you want in order to get back pain relief.

Wrist Stretch

Fold your palms together in a namaste pose and place them high, near your chest. Now press your palms in and slightly lift your elbows up. Hold this pose for about 5 seconds. Follow the same technique, but this time, invert your hands so that the fingers point toward the floor. Hold this pose for about 5 seconds. Repeat this exercise at least 5 times a day.

Spinal Stretch

Place your feet flat on the floor, your spine straight and pushed back in the chair. As you twist your torso toward one side (right), contract your abs and hold the edge of your seat to hold the pose. Keep stretching and hold for about 20―30 seconds. Twist as far as you can, no need to push yourself too much. You will get better and will be able to stretch further with practice. Repeat on the other side. Do this exercise for 10―15 reps each side.

Back Exercise

For the first back exercise, get a tennis ball from home and while you're sitting on your chair, keep the ball between the painful area and the back of the chair. Lean back to rest your back, and as you push yourself against the ball, take long, deep breaths for about 5 minutes. For the second back exercise, keep your palms on your lower back, and stretch the upper body backwards. Hold this pose for at least 5 seconds, and repeat the exercise 5 times a day.

Leg Stretch

Sit straight, hold the seat of the chair, and raise your right leg 45 degrees high. Flex the foot, and gently move your right leg outside (toward your right). Bring the leg back to the center, and down to first position. While you're stretching, keep your shoulders straight, and unwind the neck and hands. Repeat the movement on the leg. For more intensity, hold the stretch for 15 seconds on each leg. Do 5 reps, and keep increasing the reps according to your capacity.

Relaxation and Meditation

Sit up straight on your chair, keep your spine straight and pressed back in the chair, and place both the feet flat on the floor. Take deep breaths, and slowly dip your chin down on your chest. Relax the hands over your thighs, and rest the shoulders to relieve tension. Close your eyes to fix your gaze between the eyebrows. Meditate for about 5―10 minutes in a day.

Ear to Shoulder Exercise

Place your feet flat on the floor, your back straight and pushed back in the chair. Take a deep breath, while exhaling, slowly bring your left ear to your left shoulder. Inhale once more, and while exhaling, slowly bring yourself back to first position. Repeat the same movement on the other side. Do this exercise 5―6 times a day.

Tip on Performing Exercises to Avoid Sleepiness
  • Take small walks while you're on a coffee break(s). You can also ask your colleague(s) to join you; so instead of sitting and drinking coffee, you are walking and enjoying your coffee.
  • Try taking the stairs instead of the usual elevator. If your office is on the 10th or 20th floor, get off the elevator 3―5 floors below and climb the rest of the floors.
  • After having lunch, take a small walk around the office. If there's a park or some stores nearby, try to take a walk there. When you come back from your mini walk, you will actually feel refreshed.
  • While you're on the office phone, get up and walk back and forth your desk, instead of just sitting. Also, when you're on the cell phone, take a walk to the coolers or coffee machine while talking.
Work pressures sometimes gets the best of us. Pay attention to your posture while you're sitting at the desk and try not to hunch your back. Your forearms can get tight during the day as you keep typing without even realizing that you might get injured. Follow the above mentioned exercises as they are beneficial for all age types. Many people complain about headaches and back pains when they come back home; these office exercises will help you return fresh to work, and keep you concentrated.