Ergonomics gets mentioned all the time when talking about office work, in particular office furniture. Vast amounts of money have been invested in trying to find the solution to the problem of work related injuries due to long hours in front of a computer. We have large amounts of ergonomic chairs, ergonomic desks, height adjustable desks etc... available on the market today, but the truth is we probably will never be able to find a solution that will suit everyone in the world's needs.
There are things we can do ourselves however that will help to prevent these injuries from occurring. Below are some stretches that can be done in the comfort of your own office chair. Place your hands behind your head. Bend your head forward slightly, breathe in deeply and slowly stretch out the upper part of your neck. Whilst doing this, make sure that you keep the back and shoulder regions as upright as possible. Hold this position for five slow breaths. Using your right hand place it above your left ear. Pull your head to the right so you can feel the side of your neck stretch and hold for approximately 3 breaths. Once you have done this, repeat this on the opposite side.
For this exercise you will need to stand by a wall. Stand sideways to the wall and place your left hand on the wall. Making sure that your arm is straight, stretch your right arm over your head and to the left. Hold this position for four deep breaths and repeat this movement on the other side. This position stretches the side of the spine and its muscles.
Whilst seated in your chair place your hands behind the back of the chair and arch your back over the chair whilst pushing out your chest and lifting your hands. This stretches the chest and its muscles.
Whilst standing, extend your left arm and point your hand down. Place your right hand over the back of the left and stretch your forearm. Hold for five deep breaths and repeat for the other side
Place your palms together and point your fingers up. Place your hands, with your palms and fingers fully touching, in the centre of your chest and raise your elbows and hold for five deep breaths whilst stretching the muscles in front of the wrist and arm.
Hold hands in front of you and stretch your fingers out wide and stretch the palms. Hold this for four breaths whilst stretching the palms and fingers.
For this chair you will need to be seated. Try to find a non-swivel chair, for example a conference chair or even a cafe chair. Cross your right thigh over your left and twist the upper part of your body so you're stretching the lumbar region of your back.
All pictures were taken from www.ergoergo.info