Making these simple additions to your workday, whether it is at home or in the office, can make sitting at a screen for hours far more tolerable and limit the amount of muscle soreness and discomfort your work can be creating for you. The best part is these basic concepts do not require you to disrupt your workflow in any meaningful way.
Shoulder rolls (10 to 20 seconds)
These are a great way to mobilize your shoulders and require little effort or movement. Shoulder rolls also help you bring awareness to the position of your shoulders and neck, allowing you to reset your position.
- Your rest position should be with your chest up tall and your shoulder blades tucked down and back as if you are trying to slide them into the back pocket of your pants.
- 10 rolls front and back
Seated neck stretch (20 to 30 seconds)
- Sitting tall in your chair with your shoulders set in place grab the right side of your chair with your right hand and lean your head towards the left shoulder.
- While your head stays tilted try to turn your head as if you are looking above and behind the right shoulder. You should feel the muscles in the front right-hand portion of your neck become stretched.
- Keeping your right hand anchored and your head tilted move your eyes and head as if you were to look down and back behind your left shoulder. You should feel the stretch move to the back right-hand portion of your neck.
- Repeat both sides
- Hold each position two times for five seconds each
Belly breathes (20 to 30 seconds)
- After your shoulders are moving a bit better and your neck is loosened, make sure your posture is better by pulling your chin in. Take that improved posture, sitting up nice and tall, and focus on breathing into your stomach.
- If you need help breathing into your stomach, place both hands on your sides, either pushing in or grabbing your stomach, as you breathe in, think of pushing your hands out of your stomach.
- Sitting can lead to individuals being hunched over, which can cause them to breathe into their upper chest and neck. By sitting tall and breathing into your belly it can help relax the upper neck and back muscles, allow for our lower spine to align better, and allow for great oxygenation of the lungs giving you better focus.
- Five belly breathes with a five-count in and a five-count out is a great way to reset.
Stand up and walk
You may find this disruptive to your workflow at times, but a great time to implement this is when you are trying to problem-solve. Instead of just sitting staring at the same problem stand up and walk around your house or office. Walking can give you a new perspective on problems and it gives your hips and glutes a break from being locked in a seated position all day.
by Kyle Babiuk
Kyle is a Bachelor of Kinesiology Graduate and is certified with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiologists. He specializes in movement analysis, chronic disease management through exercise and strength programming. He’s worked with athletes, individuals with chronic diseases, along with many other individuals trying to achieve their health and fitness goals.