Sitting behind a desk 40 hours a week can take a toll on your body. Your eyes might get tired, especially if you are staring at a computer screen. Your back is apt to ache, and your neck may feel strained. There are exercises you can do in the privacy of your office cubicle that can help ward off stiffness and reduce eye strain.
Arms - Get up from your chair, inhale deeply and raise both arms over your head. Bend your right arm at the elbow and clasp your right elbow with your left hand. With your left hand, gently press against your right elbow, pressing your right arm down and to the rear, behind your shoulder. Your right hand should end up touching your left shoulder blade. This stretch should relieve tension that settles in your neck and shoulders. Repeat on the other side.
Neck - While sitting straight at your desk, feet on the floor, close your eyes, inhale deeply through your nostrils and then exhale deeply. Pull your shoulders down from your ears. Gently lower your right ear to the right, coming as close to your right shoulder as you can without lifting up your right shoulder. Hold, stretch, breathe and then repeat on the other side. This is called a side bend neck stretch.Lower your chin to your chest, which will stretch your back neck muscles and then slowly lift your head and point your chin to the ceiling, lowering the back of your head to the back. Hold and breathe.
Fingers and Hands - Use your right hand to gently bend the fingers on your left hand to the back and then to the front, one by one. Splay your fingers, giving your fingers and the palms of your hands a good stretch.
Wrists - The National Institutes of Health recommends stretching your wrists periodically. Hold your arm straight out in front with your fingers pointed upward. Pull this hand back using your other hand. Then point your fingers to the ground and pull the extended hand downward. Do this several times on each wrist.
Tools and Tips - The Mayo Clinic recommends the use of resistance bands, which offer weight-like resistance when you tug on them. Hold each end of a band and lift it over your head. Gently pull each end of the band in opposite directions.You also can keep a set of small hand weights in your desk and lift them while you are talking on the phone.
Rest Your EyesTo prevent eye strain and computer vision syndrome, blink your eyes often to keep your eyes moist. Yawning also lubricates your eyes.Palm your eyes by putting your elbows on your desk and letting your weight fall forward as you cup the palms of your hands over your closed eyes. Breathe deeply, relax and maintain this position for 30 seconds.