Simple Stretches to Do at Your Desk

What are the most common musculoskeletal complaints of my patients that work at a desk all day? Headaches; pins and needles in the fingers or hands; mid-back pain and tight shoulders! All of these symptoms have a very common postural pattern in common, us osteopaths call it the 'upper crossed posture'. Rounded shoulders, tight muscles where the neck meets the skull, weak back and a weak neck - sound familiar? Now there's lots of tweaks you can make to your desk set up to help your posture (take a look at a previous blog post of mine here for extra tips) but ultimately, when you are sitting at a desk 8 hours a day 5 days a week minimum.. there are a certain amount of aches and pains that are unavoidable. So here's a couple of very simple exercises you can do during the day, when things are feeling a bit stiff or sore (as always, please get your pain diagnosed for more specific advice relating to your problem!)

1) Stretch your wrists

Minimum 30 second hold! This is a great stretch for the forearms, a good opener for anyone who may be concerned about carpal tunnel or repetitive strain injuries from typing all day. Make sure the fingers are straight, and then begin to push the wrist forward.

2) Chest opener - An oldie but a goodie! And another one you can get away with doing at your desk without your colleagues giving you too many odd glances!