15 Great Stretches For Heavy Computer Users

Computer and Desk Stretches

Prolonged sitting at a desk or computer terminal can cause muscular tension and pain. But, by taking a five or ten minute break to do a series of stretches, your whole body can feel better. Its also helpful to learn to stretch spontaneously, throughout the day, stretching any particular area of the body that feels tense for a minute of two. This will help greatly in reducing and controlling unwanted tension and pain.

The techniques, ideas, and suggestions in this document are not intended as a substitute for proper medical advice! Consult your physician or health care professional before performing any new exercise or exercise technique, particularly if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are elderly, or if you have any chronic or recurring conditions. Any application of the techniques, ideas, and suggestions in this document is at the reader's sole discretion and risk.

The author and publisher of this document and their employers make no warranty of any kind in regard to the content of this document, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose. The author and publisher of this document and their employers are not liable or responsible to any person or entity for any errors contained in this document, or for any special, incidental, or consequential damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this document.

How to Stretch

Stretching should be done slowly without bouncing. Stretch to where you feel a slight, easy stretch. Hold this feeling for 5-20 seconds. As you hold this stretch, the feeling of tension should diminish. If it doesn't, just ease off slightly into a more comfortable stretch. The easy stretch reduces tension and readies the tissues for the developmental stretch.

After holding the easy stretch, you can move a fraction of an inch farther into the stretch until you feel mild tension again. This the developmental stretch which should be held for 10-15 seconds. This feeling of stretch tension should also slightly diminish or stay the same. If the tension increases or becomes painful, you are overstretching. Ease off a bit to a comfortable stretch. The developmental stretch reduces tension and will safely increase flexibility.

Hold only stretch tensions that feel good to you. The key to stretching is to be relaxed while you concentrate on the area being stretched. Your breathing should be slow, deep and rhythmical. Don't worry about how far you can stretch, stretch relaxed and limberness will become just one of the many byproducts of regular stretching.

**NOTE: If you have had any recent surgery, muscle, or joint problem, please consult your personal health care professional before starting a stretching or exercise program.

Separate and straighten your fingers until tension of a stretch is felt (fig. 1). Hold for 10 seconds. Relax, then bend your fingers at the knuckles and hold for 10 seconds (fig. 2). Repeat stretch in fig. 1 once more. 1.gif - 5894 Bytes
This stretch may cause people around you to think you are very strange, indeed, but you often find a lot of tension in your face from eye strain. Raise your eyebrows and open your eyes as wide as possible. At the same time, open your mouth to stretch the muscles around your nose and chin and stick your tongue out. Hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds. Caution: If you have clicking or popping noises when opening mouth, check with your dentist before doing this stretch.
Shoulder Shrug: Raise the top of your shoulders toward your ears until you fell slight tension in your neck and shoulders. Hold this feeling of tension for 3-5 seconds, then relax your shoulders downward into their normal position. Do this 2-3 times. Good to use at the first signs of tightness or tension in the shoulder and neck area.
With fingers interlaced behind head, keep elbows straight out to side with upper body in a good aligned position. Now pull your shoulder blades toward each other to create a feeling of tension through upper back and shoulder blades. Hold this feeling of mild tension for 8-10 seconds, then relax. Do several times. This is good to do when shoulders and upper back are tense or tight. 4.gif - 8820 Bytes
Start with head in a comfortable, aligned position. Slowly tilt head to left side to stretch muscles on side of neck. Hold stretch for 10-20 seconds. Feel a good, even stretch. Do not overstretch. Then tilt head to right side and stretch. Do 2-3 times to each side.
From a stable, aligned position turn your chin toward your left shoulder to create a stretch on the right side of your neck. Hold right stretch tensions for 10-20 seconds. Do each side twice.
Gently tilt your head forward to stretch the back of the neck. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times. Hold only tensions that feel good. Do not stretch to the point of pain.
Hold your left arm just above the elbow with the right hand. Now gently pull elbow toward opposite shoulder as you look over your left shoulder. Hold stretch for 15-20 seconds. Do both sides.
Interlace fingers, then straighten arms out in front of you. The palms should be facing away from you as you do the is stretch. Feel stretch in arms and through the upper part of the back (shoulder blades). Hold stretch for 20-30 seconds. Do at least two times. 10.gif - 11398 Bytes
Interlace fingers then turn palms upwards above your head as you straighten your arms. Think of elongating your arms as yo feel a stretch through arms and uppers sides of rib cage. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Hold only stretches that feel releasing. Do three times. 11.gif - 9110 Bytes
Hold left elbow with right hand, then gently pull elbow behind head until an easy tension-stretch is felt in shoulder or back of upper arm (triceps). Hold easy stretch for 30 seconds. Do not overstretch. Do both sides. 12.gif - 11880 Bytes
Hold onto your lower leg just below the knee. Gently pull bent leg toward your chest. To isolate a stretch in the side of your upper leg, use the right arm to pull bent leg across and toward the opposite shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds at easy stretch tension. Do both sides 13.gif - 11043 Bytes
A stretch for the side of hip, lower and middle of back. Sit with left leg bent over right leg, then rest elbow or forearm of right arm on the outside of the upper thigh of the left leg. Now apply some controlled, steady pressure toward the right with the elbow or forearm. As you do this look over your left shoulder to get the stretch feeling. Do both sides. Hold for 15 seconds. 14.gif - 8955 Bytes
The next stretch is done with fingers interlaced behind your back. Slowly turn your elbows inward while straightening your arms. An excellent stretch for shoulders and arms. This is good to do when you find yourself slumping forward from your shoulders. This stretch can be done at any time. Hold for 5-15 seconds. Do twice. 15.gif - 8923 Bytes
To stretch your calf, stand a little ways from a solid support and lean on it with your forearms, your head resting on your hands. Bend one leg and place your foot on the floor in front of you leaving the other let straight, behind you. Slowly move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of your straight leg. Be sure to keep the heel of the foot of the straight leg on the floor and your toes pointed straight ahead. Hold an easy stretch for 30 seconds. Do not bounce. Stretch both legs. 16.gif - 7628 Bytes