They say that sitting is the new smoking. Poor posture, joint pains, muscle cramps, and fatigue are being attributed to this ‘sitting’ culture. One solution is to incorporate a few simple exercises into your everyday office routine. Doing these simple yet effective exercises regularly can help invigorate blood circulation and improve alertness.
Exercises for computer screen strained eyes
Your eyes can get tired from staring for too long at the computer screen. Here are three simple exercises you can perform at your desk to rejuvenate your eyes:
Hands over eyes
Create friction heat in your palms by rubbing them together. Now form a cup shape with your hands, and press them gently over your eyes. Keep your eyes relaxed but closed. Allow the natural heat from your palms to relax your eyes for a minute or so. You can repeat the exercise a few times.
Staring at the computer screen can lead to reduced blinking, which can cause your eyes to itch or become dry. Blinking is also crucial to exercise your eyelids. Consciously train your mind to blink normally while you use the computer. Your goal should be to blink every five seconds while you are focusing on the screen. This task is easier said than done because when you are engrossed in your work, it is easy to forget to blink. But if you do it consciously as an exercise, your eyes will stay well-lubricated and refreshed.
Close your eyes and roll your eyes gently in a circular motion. If you are unable to roll your eyes in a circular motion, just move your eyes from right to left, then left to right. Then move your eyes up, then down. All this while keeping your eyes closed. This will massage your eye muscles, ease your eye strain, and promote eye lubrication.
Exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
Put your hands together as if you are praying
Now spread each pair of fingers apart from each other. Stay in this position for half a minute. Then separate your palms, while retaining your fingers in the same position. This simple 3-step exercise will relieve the median nerve, which gets irritated if you have CTS. Your carpal tunnel structures as well as palmer fascia will also stretch with this exercise.
Light hand shake exercise
Shake your hands lightly as if you have just washed them and have no tissue paper available, so you are drying your hands by shaking them in the air. You can perform this simple activity for one minute every two hours. This will prevent the flexor muscles from feeling tight and cramped and relieve its median nerve.
Fist fan exercise.
Make a tight fist and retain it for 30 seconds. Then release your fingers from your fist one by one and fan them out. Now stretch your fanned out fingers as far apart from each other as you can. Repeat the exercise three to five times
Exercises to re-energize your body
If you are looking to add a little more muscle to your legs, choose chair squats. Stand with a chair behind you and keep your feet apart about 10 inches. Raise your arms parallel to the floor straight forward and squat down slowly towards your chair. Keep your knees behind your toes and utilize your strength so you do not fall back onto the chair. (Control your body and overcome that gravitational pull downward. This is a workout, a quiet one nonetheless). As your buttocks come in contact with the seat of the chair, contract them and lift yourself back up to a proper standing position.
Start with 10 reps, or fewer according to what is comfortable for you. Note of caution: If your chair has wheels, exchange it for a sturdy, stationary seat for this exercise if you can. If you cannot, just remember your chair could move on you.
Upper Body Stretch
- Arm stretch: Lift your right arm as far as possible and then bend towards the left side, providing a good stretch to the entire upper body. Hold for a few seconds before you switch sides. Do this exercise while standing upright.
- Shoulder stretch: Hold your left elbow with your right hand, and then pull your arm gently towards your chest. Exhale slowly as you extend the stretch. Hold for a few seconds before you switch sides.
- Upper back stretch: With the thumb pointing downwards, clasp your hands gently together. Now move your shoulders in a circular motion and reach forward.
- Wrist stretch: Keep the right elbow in a straight position. Now bend the right wrist with the other hand. Continue for 30 seconds or until you feel a mild stretch in the forearm.
Ease Your Shoulders
Get up from your office chair, and clasp your hands together. Now place them on your left shoulder as if you are holding an imaginary ax like a lumber jack. Swing your ‘ax’ gently by straightening your elbows and gliding your hands toward your right thigh. Then rest your clasped hands on your right shoulder and perform another gentle swing to your left thigh. Do 10 reps on each side to ease stiff shoulders and rejuvenate your upper torso.