Long hours at the desk not just drain one mentally but also stress out body muscles that have been rigid for hours. This is true for professionals like drivers and goldsmiths too. Over long periods, the muscle tension can cause a lot of damage to the body. Periodic movement away from the desk may not always be possible, but a few simple desk exercises can help reduce the muscle stress.
Some of the major muscles that face stress during long hours at the desk are the neck, shoulders, chest and sides. A few basic stretches at regular intervals can help ease the muscle tension.
The abdominal muscles at the sides can experience rigidity and tension due to non-movement for hours. A simple stretch will help you relieve and avoid muscle tension.
Sit up straight in your chair and raise both your hands above your head. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, gently lean your body to the right. Your right arm should reach over the head.
Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds and then straighten as you inhale. Stretch towards the left as you exhale. Repeat a few times for good results.
The continuous working on keyboards and desks develops muscle tension in the neck. A gentle neck stretch at your desk will help you relieve the tension. Sit up straight in the chair. Start with a few deep breaths and then as you exhale, lower your left ear to the shoulder. Let the ear touch the shoulder and hold for a few seconds. Inhale as you raise your head again.
Repeat on the other side. For a better stretch, lower the left ear again towards the shoulder and use your left hand to lightly press your ear closer to the shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Be very gentle to cause no undue damage to your neck.
The shoulder muscles tend to tense after long periods on the desk, a simple desk exercise can helprelieve the muscle tension. Sit straight in the chair and slowly raise your hands in the surrender pose. Raise your hands so that the bent elbows are in line with your shoulders. Now slowly squeeze your shoulder muscles together as if you are trying to hold a ball with them hold the stretch for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat a couple of times to relax the muscle stress.
Finish the entire routine with a desk exercise for the chest muscles. The chest squeeze stretches the upper back muscles and gives you the strength to go through your day. Start by sitting straight up in your chair and taking a few breaths. Raise your hands in the surrender position with the elbows on shoulder level and palms reaching high.
Slowly bring them in front of your body and interlock the fingers. Now stretch the hands away from the body. The stretch will be felt in the upper back muscles. Hold it for about 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat a few times to relieve muscle tension in the back muscles.
The entire routine takes less than 10 minutes, and a few repeats during the day will keep muscle tension at bay.