Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Beneficial Exercies for Extensive Computer Use

Do you use a computer in your office? In your home? Chances are that you'll be using it together for hours together, which can be extremely detrimental to your health and can increase your risk of RSI (repetitive strain injuries) and make you feel really tired/stressed. Here are some exercises that you can do periodically to keep you mind and body active and ensure that you won't be harming yourself by sitting in front of the computer for ages.

Healthy Body at Work

Practice these basic postures everyday at home or at the office when you need inspiration or rejuvenation! *italics = 10 minute routine

Getting Started
  • Sit tall at the front of your chair; lengthen your spine
  • Feet flat on the floor; legs parallel
  • Breathe – slow, rythmic breath work
Head and neck
  • Neck rolls and side neck stretches
  • Chin to chest, gazine side to side
Arms and Hands
  • Palm press, arm raises, arms extended; press to sides
  • Wrist circles, fist clenches, hands press on desk
Shoulders (seated or standing)
  • Shrugs, shoulder rotation
  • Arms overheard, press elbow and reach hand down back
  • Reach both arms over back of chair
  • Seated spinal twist
  • Seated forward fold
  • Stated triangle (reach one hand to foot)
  • Half standing forward bend (at wall, chair, desk)
  • Fully extended downward facing stretch
  • Ankle rotations, stretch tops of feet
  • Side reaches and side stretches
Final Relaxation
  • Rub hands, place over eyes

Pacing and Stretching

Taking short stretch breaks throughout the day will help reduce muscle tension and fatigue . Exercises should be done to address the following areas:

  • Blink frequently to help keep eyes moist
  • Close eyes and cover then with the palms of your hand. Rest your eyes in darkness for approximately 1 minute
  • Change your focal point every 20 minutes. Take a break and stare at something in the distance for 20 seconds
Neck and shoulders
  • Chin tuck/neck retraction – Look straight ahead and pull head back, keeping the jaw and eyes levelled. Hold for 10 seconds and then release
  • Neck rotation – Turn head slowly to look over the left shoulder and hold for 10 - 15 seconds. Repeat on the right side
  • Neck lateral flexion – Tilt your head toward your shoulder so that you are bringing your ear to touch your shoulder, and hold for 10 - 15 seconds. Repeat on both sides
  • Shoulder Rolls – Roll the shoulders backward 5 times. Roll the shoulders forward 5 times
  • Chest/bicep stretch – Clasp hands behind your back and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 - 15 seconds
  • Lower neck/upper back stretch - Clash hands together in front with the arms extended. Looking downward, gently pull the shoulder blades apart. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
Low back
  • Stand up and walk around the office to relieve the back from the static sitting position
  • Standing backward bend - Stand straight with the feet shoulder width apart and hands on the hips. Slowly arch backward to make the hollow of the back deeper. Hold for 10 - 15 seconds
  • Stand up, interlace the fingers and reach overhead. Stretch and hold for 10 - 15 seconds
  • Knee to chest stretch - while sitting in your chair; slowly bring your knee up towards your chest. Wrap your arms around this leg and hold for 10 - 15 seconds. Repeat with other leg. 
Wrist and fingers
  • Make a fist and squeeze. Then open your fist and spread your fingers as wide as possible. Repeat 5 times on each hand.
  • Let your arms hang down at the side. Gently shake out your arms and fingers for 10 - 15 seconds to improve circulation
  • Wrist extensor stretch – Keeping the elbow straight, grasp the fingers of your left hand and slowly bend the wrist so that the fingers are pointing downward and a stretch is felt. Hold for 10 - 15 seconds and repeat on the other side
  • Wrist flexor stretch – Keeping the elbow straight, grasp the fingers of the left hand slowly bend the wrist so that the fingers are pointing upward and a stretch is felt. Hold for 10 - 15 seconds and repeat on the other side
Performing these exercises are sure to relive a whole lot of stress if you use the computer a lot and will definitely help prevent any repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome.

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