5 stretches to include in your new daily work schedule

For many adults, working from home offers a number of advantages; no daily commute, a flexible schedule and no office distractions. However, as home working becomes the new normal, there is an ongoing disadvantage which an increasing number of people are experiencing.

When lockdown was enforced, all over the land offices and ergonomically designed workspaces were replaced with make-shift desks in bedrooms and on the kitchen table. And, after spending weeks hunched over their laptops, bad posture and working at poorly set up workstations, home workers are experiencing an increase in aches and pains across the back, neck, and shoulders.

Often just put down to normal daily discomfort and left largely ignored, if left unresolved they could have a much longer-term impact on mobility and posture.

Ele King, Sports Massage Therapist from Prime Health, our centre in Weybridge, Surrey shares five simple stretches to ease the aches and strains felt after periods of time sitting down or working on a computer at a desk.

Ele recommends setting yourself just 10 minutes a day to incorporate these stretches into your daily routine. If you can manage this you will experience a positive effect in both the short and long term.

1 : Stretch 1

  • Using a chair, kneel down in front of it, lean forward and place your forearms on the seat.
  • Keep your back and neck straight.
  • Hold for 1 minute.

2: Stretch 2

  • Place a chair behind you. Facing away from the chair crouch downwards staying on your toes and place your palms facing inwards on the edge.
  • Bend your arms and use your arms to hold your body weight.
  • Hold for 1 minute.

3 : Stretch 3

  • Stand facing a wall, 1m away.
  • Lean forward and place your hands on the wall in front.
  • Gently push your head down until you feel the stretch in your shoulders.
  • Hold for 1 minute.

4 : Stretch 4

  • Place a chair behind you. Facing away from the chair crouch downwards staying on your toes and place your palms facing away from you on the edge of the chair.
  • Keeping your arms straight use your arms to hold your body weight.
  • Hold for 1 minute.

5 : Stretch 5

  • Standing straight, place your arm up the centre of your back, palm facing outwards.
  • Hold for 1 minute.
  • Alternate with the other arm.

The more often you incorporate stretching into your daily routine the better, advises Ele.

Your muscles want to be strong, but long, and stretching helps enable this. Ele recommends doing these stretches daily, but if you find you have bad posture from undertaking ongoing repetitive movements (such as sitting hunched up at your dining table over a laptop) then try and ensure you stretch out and move around every few hours during the working day.

In addition to carrying out these simple stretches, (even if you frequently exercise) it is important to regularly get your blood circulating by moving throughout the day. Not only will this bring physical benefits, but it will improve your focus, productivity, and efficiency.

Alongside her daily stretches, here are Ele’s top tips to build into your daily routine when working from home:

  • Take regular breaks from the screen
  • Avoid having your lunch at your desk
  • Schedule in regular walks, ideally, in the fresh air

As workers continue to adopt flexible working schedules at home, ensure your new routine incorporates daily stretching and regular movement. Both offer physical and mental benefits which in turn will increase productivity.

It’s a win, win situation for you, both personally and professionally.

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