HomeHome : Monthly Tips : Nov 2013

Don't Just Sit There

November 2013 — Tip of the Month

November is here and that means the holiday season is about to begin. For many people, it also means stress levels are about to increase. If you spend a lot of your day working at a computer, it's important to stay loose and not exacerbate the seasonal stress with extra tightness.

I already provided some ergonomic tips in a previous Monthly Tip, but doing a few basic exercises can make a big difference in how you feel at the end of the day. Below are my top three.

  1. Shoulder squeezes - While sitting upright, pull your shoulders straight back and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for ten seconds, take a five second break and do it again. A set of ten shoulder squeezes three or four times a day will help prevent that hunched over posture associated with using a computer.
  2. Neck stretches - For me, sitting at a computer for an extended period of time takes the greatest toll on my neck. Therefore, I try to do a few neck stretches throughout the day. To loosen up your neck, raise your right arm over your head and place your right hand on the left side of your head, just above your ear. Then pull gently to the right and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat the same thing for the other side. If you do this every two hours or so, it can help prevent a stiff and sore neck at the end of the day.
  3. Walking - The most natural excerise is to simply stand up and walk around. The basic act of getting out of your chair and moving around can do wonders for your body. I recommended getting out of your chair for a few minutes at least once an hour. When you sit back down, your body will feel more relaxed and your mind will be refreshed as well.

The above exercises are pretty basic and therefore don't need much explanation. The hard part is actually doing them on a regular basis. Therefore, small reminders might be helpful. For example, you can set an hourly alarm on your PC that reminds you to take a break each hour. Eventually, these small exercises might become so natural, you won't even need a reminder.

- Per Christensson