Working at a Desk 101: Best Stretches & Ways to Avoid Injuries

Posted in News & Updates

During the COVID-19 pandemic, almost everyone has been spending more time at home. Consequently, we saw a shift in our Chiropractic and Physiotherapy clinic from sports injuries to injuries related to sitting for long periods of time. Without a commute, in-person meetings, and organized events - work days became more sedentary. Here are some simple stretches and modifications that can be made if you are spending a lot of time at a desk. 🖥️

Ergonomic Position

Catch yourself slouching during the work day? This can cause tightness in your hips, shoulders, and other areas.

To avoid a rounded position while working:

    • Everything you use should be within an easy reach.
    • Elevate your laptop to eye-level! Buy a laptop stand and separate keyboard.
    • Use a chair that fits you well, for instance, having good lumbar support.
    • Consider working from a standing position.
It's worth the investment when you are in this position for 8+ hours per day!

Quick Relief Stretches

Whether at your desk or away from it, try mixing in these stretches during your workday!

Ideally, you can get up, change positions, and move during your day - but we realize that some work days keep you tied to your desk. 

So, pictured are 4 exercises you can do while sitting:

  • Forearm Flexor Stretch (palm forward & gentle pressure on fingers)
  • Forearm Extensor Stretch (palm facing you & gentle pressure on fingers)
  • Seated Figure 4 (gentle pressure on outside knee; opens hips)
  • Seated Trap Stretch (hold your chair and tilt head to opposite side for a neck + shoulder stretch)

Hold each for 20-30 seconds, or 8-10 belly breaths. Stretches should be gentle and not painful.

Drink More Water

Water helps regulate your body temperature, lubricates your joints, and is crucial for muscle contraction - but it also forces you to get up and walk to the washroom!

By increasing your water intake, you will get up and use the washroom more often, and consequently spend less consecutive time sitting! Win-win!

So how much water should I be drinking then? 💧

  • Water intake should be individualized and answers vary, but 10 cups of water a day is a good goal!
  • Further, if you have been to a pelvic physiotherapist, you may already know that using the bathroom 6-8 times in a 24-hour period, or roughly every 3 hours is normal.
  • TIP: Keep a water bottle at your desk!

We hope these tips help! If you experience persisting discomfort or pain while working at home, give us a call or email us to book an appointment with one of our chiropractors or physiotherapists at Dynamic Health and Performance. After an assessment, a practitioner will give you progressive stretching and strengthening exercises along with manual therapy so you can be independent in taking care of your health.

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Whether you're looking for more personal agility or to help your sports team perform better, we invite you to get in touch. No pressure. No obligation. Just a conversation about what we can do together.

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